SEOUL, April 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korean mortgage payments have risen modestly due to rising market interest rates, data showed Tuesday.
Annual mortgage rates charged by major commercial banks, including KB Kookmin Bank and Shinhan Bank, rose 0.03 percentage point Tuesday from a day earlier.
The increase was attributed to a rise in COFIX, a benchmark lending rate for mortgage loans.
COFIX averaged 1.78 percent in March, up 0.03 percentage point from a month earlier. The benchmark lending rate rose for the seventh consecutive month.
KB Kookmin Bank raised its rates on COFIX-linked home-backed loans as high as 4.67 percent.
Shinhan Bank and Woori Bank also increased their rates on such loans as high as 4.4 percent and 4.18 percent, respectively.
Market watchers expected banks' lending rates to rise at a faster pace amid expectations of a U.S. rate increase later this year.
Last week, the Bank of Korea kept its key rate steady at 1.5 percent.
The central bank voiced caution over its monetary policy, citing mounting household debt and an ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China.
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