According to statistics released yesterday by the Monetary Authority of Macao, new approvals of residential mortgage loans (RMLs) decreased from the previous month, while those of commercial real estate loans (CRELs) rose in September. In that month, new RMLs approved by Macau banks dropped by 12.3 percent month-to-month to MOP2.8 billion. Of which, new RMLs to residents, accounting for 97.9 percent of the total, decreased by 11.6 percent to MOP2.8 billion. The non-resident component fell by 36.5 percent to MOP58.2 million. When compared with the same period in 2016, new approvals of RMLs decreased by 47.5 percent. New CRELs rose by 57.4 percent month-to-month to MOP4.4 billion; of which, new CRELs to residents, accounting for 99.9 percent of the total, surged by 60.9 percent to MOP4.4 billion. In contrast, new CRELs to non-residents fell by 91.8 percent from a higher comparison base in the previous month to MOP5.2 million. Compared to this time a year ago, new approvals of CRELs decreased by 51.1 percent.
Gov’t extends building maintenance scheme
The government announced the extension, for another year, of the temporary subsidy scheme for maintenance of common facilities in low-rise buildings until February 9, 2019, according to a notice published yesterday in the official government gazette. This scheme is only applicable to buildings with a maximum of seven floors that have been issued licenses for more than 30 years. Since the scheme’s launching in 2009 until July this year, a total of 2,405 cases were approved, corresponding to an official cost of more than MOP270 million.
All schools advised to offer integrated education
The Macau Special Education Study Association suggested the city should establish laws regarding integrated education in order to promote a more equitable education. The association recently revisited one survey it carried out back in 2015, which sought opinions from 309 teachers from 12 local schools that provided integrated education. Nearly 90 percent of the teachers agreed that schools not providing integrated education should offer such option. Eighty-eight percent of the interviewees believed that Macau should establish laws regarding integrated education. The association expressed its view that changes should be made to improve the current situation, in which only a few relatively less competitive schools are consistently receiving students with special needs.