China raises Public Housing Fund lending rates after central bank's rate hike

08:21, April 07, 2011      

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China's Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development announced it would raise the Public Housing Fund (PHF) lending rates for home buyers beginning Wednesday.

Rates for loans with a maturity of five years or less under the PHF scheme would be raised from 4 percent to 4.2 percent, up 0.2 percentage points, while rates for loans with a maturity of five years or more would be raised from 4.5 percent to 4.7 percent, up 0.2 percentage points.

The PHF mortgage rate hikes come after China's central bank announced Tuesday it would raise the benchmark one-year lending and deposit rates by 0.25 percentage points each, effective on Wednesday.

Established in the 1990s, the PHF scheme was designed to help middle- and low-income workers buy homes. Employees are required to contribute 5 to 12 percent of their salaries to the fund, while their employers make matching contributions.

PHF mortgage loans carry lower rates than commercial mortgages. Bank loans with a maturity of five years or more, for example, carry a rate of 6.8 percent after the central bank's latest rate hike.

Source: Xinhua
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