Beijing banks raise mortgage rates

BEIJING: Some banks in Beijing have raised mortgage rates on first homes to 85% of the benchmark lending rate from 70%, the official China Securities Journal reported on Jan 25.

The story cited an unnamed banker at a state-owned lender and also said some banks have lifted second-home mortgage rates to the benchmark level.

China had used discounted mortgage rates to help revive the property market when it slumped in 2008, but in recent months it has shifted its focus in an effort to tame runaway prices. The government has vowed to crack down on speculation while it continues to support first-time home buyers. -- Reuters
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