Bank of China tightens lending to mainland second-home buyers

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 April, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 April, 2010, 12:00am
 

Bank of China has tightened lending to buyers of second homes on the mainland, in line with the central government's move to curb property speculation.

In new rules on property lending published on its website last Friday, the bank says buyers of second homes are required to pay a deposit of at least 50 per cent, up from 40 per cent.

Mortgage rates have also been revised to a minimum 1.1 times benchmark rates.

Buyers of first homes bigger than 90 square metres will have to pay a minimum down payment of 30 per cent, compared with 20 per cent previously.

The bank says it will not provide loans to those who buy more than two homes and those who fail to provide tax returns or proof of social security contributions.

It will interview the applicants and visit their homes to verify the accuracy of the information.

On April 14, the State Council ordered mortgage rates on second homes be set at 1.1 times the central bank's benchmark lending rate. The Bank of China is the first bank to follow the instructions and to release the details.

Developers are also facing stiffer loan restrictions, with lending tightened for projects in districts that recorded a rapid increase in home prices caused by speculative activity.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission has sent loan applications from 41 developers to the Ministry of Land and Resources for review on land-use compliance. The ministry has examined the applications of 25 companies.

According to Bloomberg, SYWG BNP Paribas Asset Management and China Business News conducted a survey between April 19 and 23 and found that 87 per cent of respondents expect property prices to decline following the government restrictions on mortgages.

There was already a sharp fall in property sales last week.

Developers in Beijing released 21 new projects for pre-sale this month, while 18 were launched last month.

Transaction data from Centaline Property Agency showed only 12 per cent of the units were sold this month, compared with 38 per cent last month.

The data showed 695 new homes in the capital were sold so far this month, down 79 per cent from the 3,237 deals registered last month.

Centaline's chief executive for northern and southwest China, Dickson Wong Hung, said home sales in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen dropped 70 per cent last week from the previous week.

'Property sales in Guangzhou decreased only 40 per cent because the market was dominated by end-users,' Wong said. 'The investment sector was relatively inactive compared with other major cities.'

Wong expects prices to drop 30 per cent by the end of this year.

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