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IN SHORT

Slovakia leads mortgage loan growth

SLOVAKIA leads the EU in mortgage growth, according to a report published by the European Central Bank, the Pravda daily reported.

Over the last four years, mortgages in Slovakia have grown by 150 percent annually compared to the average annual growth rate, which is just below nine percent. Experts attribute the boom to the fact that mortgages are more accessible to the general public and are offered at favourable interest rates - currently below five percent.

The report notes, however, that the "starting level of mortgage loans in the new EU- member states is very low".

While the overall volume of mortgages in the EU is about 40 percent of gross domestic product, despite the growth in Slovakia, it is still just at five percent.

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