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Central bank orders lending to first-home buyers

(Xinhua)

09:32, March 13, 2012

BEIJING, March 12 (Xinhua) -- The People's Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank, said Monday that commercial banks should put in place a differentiated credit policy to guarantee housing loans to qualified first-home buyers.

The remarks by Liu Shiyu, vice governor of the PBOC, came from a press conference on the sidelines of the ongoing annual parliament session.

The central bank would implement the differentiated credit policy this year to ensure that qualified residents are able to get the mortgage loans they need from banks when buying the first ordinary commercial housing units, Liu said.

However, he warned commercial banks against taking risks and urged them not to engage in developers' promotions of selling houses with only 10 percent of the down payment.

Previously, the PBOC allowed banks to grant loans to first-home buyers with a prime mortgage rate as low as 70 percent of the benchmark lending rate.

Liu said the central bank encourages financial institutions to price their loans in accordance with the financial conditions of borrowers.

In January, more Chinese cities reported declines in house prices as the government vowed to continue measures designed to cool the property market, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said.

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