According to statistics released today by the Monetary Authority of Macao, new approvals of both residential mortgage loans (RMLs) and commercial real estate loans (CRELs) increased in December 2015. With regard to outstanding balance, RMLs and CRELs both witnessed increases. New lending approved In December 2015, new RMLs approved by Macao banks increased 104.3% month-to-month to MOP5.0 billion; of which, 94.4% was extended to residents. In terms of value, new RMLs to residents increased by 98.3%, mainly driven by new loans granted to enterprises collateralised by residential properties. The non-resident component also rose notably by 317.8% from the preceding month attributable to the low comparison base. When compared with the same period of 2014, new approvals of RMLs rose by 34.0%. New RMLs collateralised by uncompleted units (i.e. equitable mortgage) increased by 54.0% month-to-month to MOP0.6 billion. The equitable mortgage extended to residents, which accounted for 90.6% of the total, rose by 55.3%. This increase was mainly attributed to the larger loan amount recorded for a few number of approvals. When compared with the same period of 2014, new RMLs collateralised by uncompleted units decreased 22.0%. New CRELs grew by 25.8% month-to-month to MOP5.2 billion; of which, 93.2% was granted to residents. In terms of value, new CRELs to residents and non-residents increased by 17.9% and 1,477.9% respectively; of which, the notable increase of the non-resident component was mainly caused by the low comparison base in the previous month. On an annual basis, new approvals of CRELs dropped by 17.1%. Outstanding balances As at end-December 2015, the outstanding value of RMLs reached MOP173.2 billion, an increase of 1.6% from one month earlier or 13.3% from a year ago. The resident component made up 94.1% of the total. Compared to end-November 2015, outstanding RMLs to residents and non-residents rose 1.5% and 2.0% respectively. Concurrently, the outstanding value of CRELs increased by 0.2% from end-November 2015 and was up 33.6% from end-December 2014 to MOP163.1 billion. Residents accounted for 88.2% of the loans. Compared with one month earlier, outstanding CRELs to residents and non-residents grew by 0.1% and 1.4% respectively. Delinquency ratios At the end of December 2015, the delinquency ratio for RMLs remained virtually unchanged from a month ago or up 0.02 percentage points from a year ago, at 0.09%. The ratio for CRELs was 0.02%, down 0.06 percentage points from a month ago or 0.04 percentage points from end-December 2014.