China relaxes mortgage rules for second home buyers

A man walks past a wall at a construction site at a new residential area in Beijing

BEIJING (Reuters) – China will relax mortgage rules for second-home buyers to shore up its cooling housing market, the central bank and the banking regulator said in a joint statement on Tuesday, taking one of the biggest steps this year to lift slackening economic growth.

With the changes, second-home buyers can now get a 30 percent discount on their mortgage rates, a privilege previously limited only to first-home buyers. Downpayment levels would also be cut to 30 percent from 60 percent to 70 percent.

“For families that own one home and have paid off their mortgages, banks should treat them as first-home buyers,” the regulators said in a statement on the central bank’s website.

(Reporting by Koh Gui Qing and Shao Xiaoyi; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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