China Bank Regulator Pledges to Keep Curbs on Property Market

China’s banking regulator said it will “decisively” enforce the government’s property curbs in the second half of this year and enhance risk management of real estate lending.

The China Banking Regulatory Commission will seek to “more effectively” support stable economic growth, according to a statement on its website yesterday. The watchdog pledged to boost lending to key construction projects, small businesses and affordable housing.

“Active progress was achieved in preventing and containing risks in real estate loans” in the first half because the CBRC “strictly curbed” lending to heavily indebted developers, the regulator said, without elaborating.

China’s two-year effort to curb the property market has included raising down-payment and mortgage requirements, imposing property taxes for the first time in Shanghai and Beijing, increasing building of low-cost social housing, and imposing home purchase restrictions in about 40 cities.

Home prices rose in the most cities tracked by the government in 11 months in June, as housing sales rebounded after some local governments loosened restrictions, fueling expectations that policies aimed at stemming speculation may be eased to help arrest an economic slowdown.

The commission will support “reasonable” real estate lending, with priorities given to households’ first home mortgages and the development of smaller, lower-priced units, and affordable housing, including public rental and shantytown renovation projects, according to the statement.

Elsewhere in the government, the finance ministry won’t relax property curbs even as it plans to bolster spending on areas including job creation, education and medical services, according to a statement on its website on July 26.

— With assistance by Dingmin Zhang

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