BEIJING: China on Thursday raised mortgage rates and down payment requirements to cool the country's red-hot property market.

The official Xinhua news agency, citing the outcome of a meeting of the State Council, announced the following measures:

-- The down payment on first homes of more than 90 square metres rises to 30% from 20%.

-- The down payment on second homes rises to 50% from 40%

-- Banks must set mortgage rates on second homes at a minimum of 1.1 times the central bank's benchmark interest rate. Banks currently have flexibility in the rates they charge depending on their assessment of credit risk -  Reuters