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Govt home purchase scheme no risk to deficit target

A government program to purchase the properties of troubled borrowers and allow them to continue to reside in their homes as tenants will not put this year's general government deficit target at risk, National Economy Ministry deputy state secretary Roland Nátrán told Parliament's audit and budget committee on Monday.
The purchases of the homes by the National Asset Manager (NET) – a special purpose vehicle – will come from almost HUF 100 billion in general budget reserves, Mr Nátrán said, answering a question by a committee member of opposition MSzP.
He added that less than 40% of the general reserves were used up in the first half of this year, leaving more than 60% for the remainder. He said that an amendment to the budget act was not out of the question. The NET program was launched at the start of January. Lenders started offering foreclosed properties eligible for purchase by the company in March.
Under an agreement between the government and the Hungarian Banking Association signed last December, NET is to buy 25,000 properties by the end of 2014, purchasing 8,000 in 2012, 7,000 in 2013 and 10,000 in 2014. NET has not purchased any homes yet, Nátrán said, adding that technical preparations and consultations with lenders are still underway.