Property agents said purchase restrictions not only squeeze out speculative demand but help some homebuyers to reduce financial risks, making them more cautious and prudent. (Photo by Kuang Linhua/For China Daily)
Eight banks have moved to raise mortgage rates in Beijing, beginning Monday, as the city steps up to crack down speculative buying, Securities Times reported.
First-time home buyers in Beijing have to pay at least the benchmark mortgage rate of 4.9 percent, while second-home buyers have to pay 20 percent above the benchmark, which is about 5.88 percent, the report said, citing information from eight banks, including the "Big Four", CITIC Bank and Beijing Bank.
Effective Monday, home buyers have to pay a higher mortgage than before, when they could enjoy as much as a 15 percent discount. For a 3 million yuan mortgage for 20 years, the rate hike could mean an extra 300,000 yuan (,497) or 700,000 yuan for first and second home buyers respectively, according to Caijing magazine.
Such targeted interest rate hikes will most likely expand nationwide, as an effective measure to cool the country's redhot real estate market, and become part of a "long-term mechanism to regulate the market", the outlet noted.
Following Beijing's unprecedented lift of the down-payment requirement to 60 percent for second home buyers, about 45 cities across the country have introduced over 140 restrictive rules on home purchases over the last 12 months, according to estimates by housing agent Centaline Property.
Meanwhile, 14 cities went further to place sales restrictions. For example, newly-bought homes in restricted areas can only be resold three years after obtaining the property certificate in Chengdu, capital of Southwest China's Sichuan province.
Albert Lau, CEO of property consultancy Savills China, said more restrictions will be introduced this year and cities, including lower-tier ones with prestigious locations neighboring key cities, are likely to introduce limits on purchases and home finance.