Beijing launches new rules to cool its real estate market

2017-03-24 23:12:21 | From:

A number of measures were launched on Friday by the People's Bank of China (PBC) Operations Office in Beijing to cool the capital's red-hot real estate market.

According to the new regulations, Beijing mortgage applicants who have been divorced for less than one year should obey the government credit policy for second homes as if they were married.

Down payment ratios for second homes have usually been higher than on first homes. Divorcees who do not retain ownership of shared property are usually considered to be first-time homebuyers by banks.

The new regulations have been rolled out as more and more couples are trying to take advantage of the lower down payments for first homes by temporarily getting divorced in recent days, a PBC statement said, adding that this situation has "hurt the effects of house regulation and increased mortgage risks at commercial banks."

The PBC also noted that banks should thoroughly investigate how mortgage applicants acquired the money for their down payment and should not grant loans to customers that have used any financial leveraging products.

Commercial banks are also required by the central bank to make sure borrowers' monthly mortgage payments make up half their income or less.

The new regulations were issued just one week after the Beijing municipal government tightened its policies on the real estate market. The Beijing Municipal Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development said on March 17 that Beijing banks would stop granting individual mortgages that extend beyond 25 years.

The commission also noted that homebuyers who already own one house in the city or have previously taken out a mortgage should provide a down payment of at least 60 percent on any new residential property.

Down payments on first and second houses in Beijing have usually been 30 percent and 50 percent, respectively, in the past.

According to February 22 statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics, prices for new Beijing homes have increased by 24.7 percent since January 2016.

A number of other cities including Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu Province and Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province rolled out measures this month to tighten their management of local real estate markets.

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