BEIJING -- China's financial authorities are stepping up policy support for the housing market to facilitate the stable and healthy development of the real estate sector.
In one of the latest moves, the People's Bank of China and the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission issued a 16-step guideline on Wednesday, pledging to stabilize loan supply for real estate development and support the reasonable demand for individual housing loans.
Support will be given to two policy banks on issuing specific loans to qualified borrowers to ensure the delivery of housing projects, the guideline noted.
Commercial banks are encouraged to grant loans for the acquisition of real estate projects in a prudent and orderly manner, while house buyers might enjoy repayment extensions on their housing loans under certain circumstances.
The guideline reiterated that "housing is for living in, not for speculation," and called for city-specific measures.
"China's housing sector is linked to a lot of upstream and downstream industries. Therefore, its healthy development is of great significance to the overall economy," Yi Gang, governor of the PBOC, told the Annual Conference of Financial Street Forum 2022 earlier this week.
Yi said the central bank has tailored policy solutions to local specificities, such as cutting mortgage rates and down payment ratios and expanding support for bond issuance by private firms, including private housing developers, through credit enhancement facilities.
The PBOC has issued 200 billion yuan ($28.09 billion) worth of special loans to ensure the timely completion of pre-sold housing projects and put in place structural policy tools to encourage active participation by commercial banks.
Banking institutions should, under regulatory guidance, both prevent pro-cyclical amplification of risks and avoid excessive risk aversion, noted Pan Gongsheng, deputy governor of the PBOC.
Speaking at a work conference on credit business this week, Pan called for implementing the long-term mechanism for the real estate sector as well as the differentiated housing credit policies to meet people's needs for basic housing and improved conditions.
He urged lenders to carefully study and implement the supporting measures of financial regulators for the real estate sector to ensure the steady and healthy development of the housing market.
Lian Ping, chief economist at Zhixin Investment Research Institute, noted that with regulatory support underway, in commercial housing, both the completed area and the area under construction have seen a marked improvement over the past two months.
While positive signs are emerging in the real estate market, it is still necessary to bolster support to help stabilize the housing market, Lian said.