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Government’s Cheap Homes Scheme Failing

Difficulty in raising loans for deposits is the main reason the government says that its POS+ plan programme, which offers Croatian citizens the possibility to purchase apartments up to 28% cheaper than what is being offered via loans from commercial banks, has failed to attract interest, reports Dnevnik.

In just over two months since the Ministry of Construction announced that over 20,000 apartments would go on sale at a heavily reduced price thanks to a government subsidy, only 43 requests had been received. The majority of citizens interested say that they have hit a stumbling block when it comes to raising the deposit.

The main criteria to qualify for the government subsidised home is that it is a newly built apartment and does not exceed 1,400 euros per square metre. The buyer must also have secured a deposit of 15% of the value of the apartment. Minister Anka Mrak Taritas earlier announced that the state will offer a loan of 200 euros per square meter regardless of the purchase price of the apartment. The interest on that loan will be 1% for a grace period and fixed at 4% for the rest of the repayment. Savings under the government’s POS+ plan for a 60 square metre apartment which costs 1,400 euros per square metre will be 49,104 euros or 28% over the duration of the loan compared to a standard loan taken out with the banks. The largest interest has been in renting the new apartments, with 700 applications for 86 rentals in just two weeks.

‘It turned out that the problem is creditworthiness, it also needs to be viewed in context that monthly one or two flats in Zagreb are sold,” said Minister Mrak Taritas.

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