Embattled Chinese developer Kaisa Group has pledged to resume construction at a project in Foshan in the southern province of Guangdong after funds held in escrow accounts were returned to it. The development comes hot on the heels of reports last week that China was moving to ease a severe crash crunch in the property sector , giving developers much-needed breathing space. “After friendly negotiations with the government and regulatory banks, the presale payments [for the project] have been returned and will be used for resumption of work and production of the project,” Kaisa Foshan said in a statement on its official WeChat account on Monday. “Our company will make every effort to ensure that the project is delivered on time!” Reuters reported last Wednesday that China was drafting nationwide rules to make it easier for property developers to access funds from sales still held in escrow accounts. The new rules would help developers meet their debt obligations, pay suppliers and finance operations by letting them use the funds in escrow that are currently controlled by municipal governments with no central oversight. The Reuters report cited four people with knowledge of the matter. While Chinese developers are allowed to sell residential projects before completing them, they are required to put the proceeds in escrow accounts. A day after news of the rules change broke, China lowered its five-year loan prime rate , a reference rate for mortgages, for the first time since April 2020. A lower loans rate gives developers much-needed breathing room, as they face US$38.3 billion of offshore bond payments in the first six months of 2022. Earlier this month, the Foshan municipal government said it would be “open to and welcome investment by property firms” and would take steps to help lower their costs of fundraising, according to an announcement labelled “measures for a good start of economic development in the first quarter.” The government said it would also try to allocate presale funds to developers in a more timely fashion as part of its proposal to stimulate the local economy. Many big developers in the province, including China Evergrande and Kaisa Group, have teetered near collapse since the central government imposed its “three red lines” policy in August 2020 to rein in excessive leverage.