China's property loans ease in Q4 in stabilising market

BEIJING Fri Jan 24, 2014 5:06am EST

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BEIJING Jan 24 (Reuters) - Banks' lending to China's property sector eased in the last quarter of 2013 from the previous three months, Reuters calculations from central bank data showed on Friday, adding to signs of stabilisation in the housing market.

Chinese banks lent 440 billion yuan ($72.7 billion) to home buyers and property developers between October and December 2013, down from the third quarter's 600 billion yuan but still up 20 percent from a year earlier.

China's property market began to show signs of stabilising at the end of 2013, with home price rises easing in some major cities as government tightening measures started to bite.

Total property loans issued hit 2.3 trillion yuan in 2013, up 998.7 billion yuan from a year ago, the central bank said on its website, www.pbc.gov.cn

Outstanding home mortgages by the end of December were up 21 percent from a year ago at 9.8 trillion yuan, while outstanding loans to developers climbed 16.3 percent to 3.52 trillion over the same period.

New loans for public housing construction totalled 153 billion yuan in 2013, to make up 31 percent of all loans to developers, it added.

China's home prices are at record highs and well beyond the reach of ordinary people, though analysts expect price rises to moderate in 2014 thanks to increased supply, relatively tight credit control and the impact of government measures. ($1 = 6.0517 Chinese yuan) (Reporting By Xiaoyi Shao and Jonathan Standing; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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