Demand from households for car leases and consumption loans has recovered

Autori Gaili Grüning pilt

Gaili Grüning

Economist at Eesti Pank



The housing loan market remained active in spring and the issuance of car leases and consumption loans increased alongside it. Demand has been affected by the easing of restrictions and by the limits on supply that are apparent for some groups of goods. The stock of bank loans issued to households stood at 10.7 billion euros in April.

A little over 30 million euros of car leases were issued in April. This is almost 14% more than the average of 2019, before the pandemic struck. As in earlier years, the number of car lease contracts increased in spring, but the supply of new cars is limited this year as there is a global shortage of microchips, and this has braked the production of some electronic components for cars. Before the pandemic, transactions for new cars were in the majority, but since spring last year they have been overtaken by lease contracts for used cars. The average values of leases for new and used cars have recovered at almost the same rate, and are now slightly larger than before the pandemic.

The housing loan market remains active. Some 148 million euros in new housing loans were taken out in April. More transactions than before were made with older properties.

Banks issued other loans and leases worth a total of around 48 million euros in April, which is a quarter more than the average of 2019. This is probably partly a consequence of transactions being postponed. This amount also includes consumption loans taken to buy older cars. More loans were also taken from other creditors in the first quarter of this year to buy goods using instalment purchases.

The quality of the loans issued by banks to households remains very good. The share of housing loans that are overdue by more than 60 days is below 0.2%. The share of other household loans that are overdue by more than 60 days has increased a little to 1.8%. The share of loans overdue by more than 60 days doubled at the end of last year in the segment of instant loans issued by other creditors, but it came down again this spring to where it was before the pandemic at 5.5%.