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China lowers down payment levels for second homebuyers to 40%

Zhang Jie, Dai Tian and He Yini
Updated: Mar 30,2015 5:21 PM

Authorities on March 30 decided to lower the down payment levels for second homebuyers to 40 percent from the current 60 to 70 percent, the central bank said.

The minimum down payment ratio for first homebuyers who use the housing provident fund will also be reduced from 30 percent to 20 percent, said the notice.

Meanwhile, if buyers use the housing provident fund, the ratio for a second house will remain at 30 percent if all loans are settled on their first home.

The notice, jointly released by the country’s central bank, the Ministry of Housing, the Urban-Rural Development authority, and the China Banking Regulatory Commission, is a recent move to stabilize China’s housing market following a raft of new housing policies.

A larger portion of the purchase may be made using housing provident funds. For example, in Beijing, the ceiling for loans backed by the housing provident funds increased from 800,000 yuan ($130,000) to 1.2 million yuan, the local authorities said.

On March 27, Chinese land and housing authorities announced measures to fall in line with the cabinet’s guidelines for the different property markets in different regions.

“The measures aim to reasonably optimize the scale and structure of land supply... and promote the property sector’s stable and healthy development,” the statement said.

The 2015 government work report also pledged to stabilize the country’s property market, with tailored, market-based policies.

“We will encourage people to buy homes for their personal use or buy second homes,” Premier Li Keqiang said at a news conference at the conclusion of the annual parliamentary session, without elaborating on actions the government may take.

Meanwhile, the country’s central bank has cut the benchmark deposit and loan interest rates twice since November last year.

Xinhua contributed to the story.