Written Answers. - SDA Loans.

392.

asked the Minister for the Environment the number of SDA loans borrowed at fixed interest rates (i) greater than the 9½ per cent but not greater than 10½ per cent, (ii) greater than 10½ per cent but not greater than 11½ per cent, and (iii) greater than 11½ per cent but not greater than 12½ per cent, including those pending approval; and if he will give the approximate cost to the Exchequer if these were reduced to the new building society rates which have been just announced.

Statistics are not readily available which would enable an exact calculation of the figures requested by the Deputy.

Estimates of the number of house purchase loans issued in the categories of fixed interest rates specified in the question are as follows:— (i) 11,800; (ii) 5,200; (iii) 21,400. The annual cost to the Exchequer of reducing the rate of interest on these loans to 9.5 per cent is estimated at £3 million.

The estimates are based upon the only available statistics which are those furnished by local authorities for the quarterly bulletin of housing statistics, the latest edition of which is in respect of the quarter ended 30th September, 1977. They do not enable the relatively small number of loans which may have been redeemed to be excluded from the calculation of the cost to the Exchequer. This calculation also assumes that all loans are repayable over the maximum repayment period.