China Property Loan Growth Moderated in 1st Quarter, Central Bank Says -- Update

The growth of credit to China's property sector moderated in the first quarter, as Beijing imposed new measures to cool the housing market, according to data released by the country's central bank Friday.

The People's Bank of China said total outstanding loans to the property sector rose 26.1% from a year ago to 28.39 trillion yuan ($4.13 trillion) at the end of March.

However, the growth rate was 0.9 percentage point lower than in the previous quarter, it said.

In the January-March period, a total of 1.7 trillion yuan of new loans were extended to the real-estate sector, which accounted for 40.4% of the total new lending. The share was 4.5 percentage points lower than that at the end of 2016, the PBOC said.

Chinese local governments have recently implemented tighter controls on home purchases in a bid to rein in soaring prices. Banks have also raised down-payment requirements for buyers after a rapid increase in mortgage lending in the past year.

Mortgage loans to individuals declined to 19.05 trillion yuan at the end of March, compared with 19.14 trillion yuan at the end of December, according to data from the central bank. Though the outstanding mortgage loans were higher than a year earlier, growth year over year slowed.

Lending to property development rose to 6.13 trillion yuan at the end of first quarter, up 17.3% from a year earlier and also higher than the level recorded at the end of 2016.

--Grace Zhu

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 21, 2017 05:31 ET (09:31 GMT)