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Beijing tightens rules for mortgages through housing provident funds

By Yu Xiaoming | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-09-14 13:49
High rise residential flats are under construction in Tongzhou district, Beijing, Feb 20, 2018.[Photo/VCG]

China's capital of Beijing has unveiled new rules to raise the threshold for home buyers applying for mortgages through housing provident funds, in a bid to continue to step up property regulation.

According to the new rules announced Thursday by the Beijing Municipal Housing Provident Fund Management Center, those who have no home in Beijing but have a housing loan record will be classified as second home buyers.

For second home purchasers, the maximum amount they can borrow from the housing provident fund has been lowered to 600,000 yuan from 800,000 yuan.

The new rules, which go into effect next Monday, also said that the loans issued through the housing provident fund are connected to the individual's deposits period. Home buyers can get a 100,000 yuan loan every year, with a maximum of 1.2 million yuan.

The new rules aim to adhere to the policy that "houses are for living, not for speculation," said the Beijing Municipal Housing Provident Fund Management Center, adding that the government will lead Beijing citizens toward more rational housing consumption.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China's property market remains generally stable, with new home prices in four first-tier cities -- Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou -- rising 0.2 percent in July from a month ago.

The new rules come as no surprise, showing Beijing's property market is still under strict control, which is also in line with the overall planning of provident fund loans, said Yan Yuejin, research director with the E-house China R&D Institute.

During previous years, skyrocketing housing prices, especially in major cities, had fueled concerns about asset bubbles. To curb speculation, the government rolled out various control measures, including restrictions on purchases and increasing minimum down payments for mortgages.

Major cities announced 260 control measures during the first seven months this year, 80 percent more than the same period last year, according to the research center of the Centaline Group.

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