Public housing fund mortgage rates raised

08:20, July 08, 2011      

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The Chinese Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development announced on Thursday it will raise Public Housing Fund (PHF) mortgage rates for homebuyers starting Thursday.

The increased mortgage rates came one day after China's central bank, the People's Bank of China, raised its benchmark one-year borrowing and lending interest rates by 25 basis points to cool down soaring inflation.

Under the new PHF scheme, interest rates for loans with a maturity of fives years or more will be raised from 4.7 percent to 4.9 percent, while loans of the same term from commercial banks will remain at 7.05 percent.

Meanwhile, rates for loans with a maturity of five years or less will be raised from 4.2 percent to 4.45 percent, the ministry said in a statement released Thursday.

However, in cities where the PHF is used for affordable housing projects, the rate for loans with a maturity of five years or more will be 10 percent higher than the standard rate, according to the statement.

China's Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development created a plan last year for 28 second- and third-tier cities to use public housing capital to fund affordable housing projects.

China launched its PHF system in the 1990s to help medium- and low-income workers purchase homes with borrowing rates that are much lower than those of commercial banks. Employees are required to contribute 5 to 12 percent of their income to the fund, while their employers contribute the same amount.

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