China to curb speculative property investment

KUALA LUMPUR: China’s banking regulators will strictly enforce the central government’s macroeconomic policies in a move to curb soaring housing prices, reported China-based news agency Xinhua.

Xinhua quoted the deputy head of the Statistics Department of the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) Ye Yanfei as saying that the CBRC would restrain speculative property investment and support the building of affordable housing while controlling risk.

Ye said at a seminar in Beijing that China's housing market and lending to the property sector are crucial to the national economy and people's livelihood, as well as the stability of the nation's banking sector.

Ye's remarks come after the banking regulator said it would further "instruct and monitor" commercial banks' efforts to strengthen the management of lending to home-buyers.

He also said that CBRC has pushed lenders to test the impact of falling house prices, although the regulator said earlier that hypothetical scenarios examined in stress tests do not herald any change in policy. 

Housing prices in major Chinese cities rose 10.3% year-on-year in July, slower than the 11.4% growth rate in June, according to official figures. On a monthly basis, housing prices in June fell 0.1% from May and July prices were unchanged from June.

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