Beijing tightens property curbs

By Xie Jun Source:Global Times Published: 2017/3/18 0:13:39

Municipality raises down-payment requirement


File photo: CFP 


 
Beijing on Friday joined a dozen domestic cities that have rolled out other measures to cool down the overheating real estate market, in response to the government's call for curbing skyrocketing house prices.

The Beijing Municipal Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development said on Friday that Beijing banks would stop granting individual housing loans that extend beyond 25 years.

A Beijing resident surnamed Dong, who wished not to be named, said that she had prepared to buy her first house in Beijing this year, but the new regulation has made her purchase more difficult.

"As I have no Beijing household registration, I have waited for five years and planned to apply for a 30-year loan," she said, adding that she was not sure if she could afford a house with a mortgage for under 25 years.

Another resident in Beijing said Friday on condition of anonymity that in Beijing, the mortgage duration is related to the age of the house, and usually the loan term is shorter for older houses.

"Therefore, this policy will have bigger affect on the purchase of houses in the old districts of Beijing," he said.

The commission also said on Friday that for homebuyers who already own one house in Beijing, or those with commercial housing loan records, they should pay a down payment of at least 60 percent if they want to purchase a new house.

The down payments for first houses and second houses have usually been 30 percent and 50 percent, respectively, in the past in Beijing, according to the aforementioned anonymous Beijing resident.

He also said that this new regulation will have a bigger affect on buyers who want to replace their existing houses with bigger ones. "I am lucky that I have already replaced the house before. If I were to buy the same house this year, I would not be able to afford it," he said.

Jiang Yining, an analyst at Capital Securities, told the Global Times on Friday that the new regulation will be effective in cooling down the Beijing housing market.

Beijing, Shijiazhuang, capital of North China's Hebei Province and Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province are the latest cities to join a wave of measures launched to restrict real estate purchases in recent days.

At least three cities - Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu Province, Qingdao in East China's Shandong Province and Ganzhou in East China's Jiangxi Province - announced measures on Wednesday to control the skyrocketing housing prices.

Nanjing prohibited registered residents who already owned two or more houses from buying new houses. Qingdao and Ganzhou introduced similar restrictions, and both cities increased down payment requirements. In Qingdao, for instance, the minimum down payment for a new home has been increased from 20 percent to 30 percent of the total price for residents who already own one or two homes, Beijing-based newspaper Economic Daily newspaper reported on Thursday.

The measures were launched at a time when house prices are rising rapidly in domestic cities. According to statistics revealed by the National Bureau of Statistics on February 22, prices for new homes surged by 35.4 percent year-on-year in Nanjing in January, while Beijing saw its house prices rise by 24.7 percent compared with the previous year.

And the overheating house market has also extended to third- and fourth-tier cities.

For example, house prices in Shijiazhuang are rising as residents rush to purchase dwellings, according to a report in the 21st Century Business Herald on Friday.

"A rise in housing demand would help reduce housing inventory in small cities, which is what the government wants," Jiang told the Global Times on Friday.

The Chinese government has declared controlling house prices in selected hot markets to be an important mission in 2017, Han Wenxiu, deputy director of the Research Office of the State Council, China's cabinet, said at a press conference on Friday.

Han said that local governments should take responsibility for managing the property market, and that policies should differ from city to city.



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