Potential homebuyers look at property models in Qingdao, Shandong province, on Aug 17, 2021. (WANG JILIN / FOR CHINA DAILY)
The cut in the mortgage rate in several Chinese cities, which came after a rare reference by China's central bank to property market stability, may suggest more sophisticated measures regarding housing loans are in the pipeline to safeguard the healthy development of the real estate market and protect homebuyers' lawful rights, said industry experts.
Despite a nationwide pickup in the mortgage rate for home purchases, some commercial banks in Guangdong province's Guangzhou and Foshan have cut home loan interest rates and sped up the processing of first-time loan applications, the 21st Century Business Herald reported, citing sources including property research institution CRIC and the Securities Times.
The People's Bank of China noted that the nation would maintain the healthy development of its real estate market and protect the rights and interests of consumers, in a statement released after a quarterly meeting of its monetary policy committee on Sept 27.
The recent positive trends in a number of cities show that the spirit of the central bank meeting is being implemented, said analysts.
Experts said the central bank's comments on the property market were intended to enhance market confidence and stabilize overall market prospects.
They will also help improve the situation with regard to existing mortgage loans and lending, promote rational home purchase activities, and guide the steady and healthy operation of real estate enterprises.
"Entering the fourth quarter, in order to accelerate capital recovery, property developers are stepping up efforts to augment sales, in contrast to the passive sentiment of homebuyers amid sizable market adjustment," said Cao Jingjing, a research director with the China Index Academy.
To realize the healthy development of the property market, the central government has sent signals on maintaining stabilization, and the effect of policies will depend on measures taken by local governments and financial institutions, including financial support for property developers in a stable condition, added Cao.
"After all, the fundamental settlement of the property market is a long-term task, which cannot be achieved in the short term. Maintaining market stability requires support for rational demand," said Li Yujia, chief analyst at the Guangdong Provincial Residential Policy Research Center.
According to Li, the central bank's comments suggested that the most stringent mortgage measures related to home purchases have come to an end, and rational demand in the home market would be protected with more fine-tuning in terms of related financial policies.
"Some financial policies have impacted the reasonable demand of homebuyers, caused a slump in home transactions and led to a drop in the price of secondhand properties. The market may experience violent price fluctuations, going against the nation's keynote of stabilization and the goal of achieving common prosperity."
Property loans can be a very important financial tool with the function of wealth redistribution, said Zhou Xiaochuan, former governor of the People's Bank of China, while attending a chief economists forum at Fudan University on Sept 25.
Yan Yuejin, director of Shanghai-based E-house China Research and Development Institution, said the lawful rights of property purchasers include the smooth completion of regular credit approval procedures after signing home purchase contracts, as well as the handover of properties to purchasers in due time.
While maintaining the healthy and stable development of the property market, home purchasers' interests should also be regarded as the foremost task, so the central bank's statement shows the central government's resolve in protecting homebuyers, said Chen Jie, a professor specializing in property research at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.