China c.bank tells banks to quicken mortgage lending-sources

BEIJING Mon May 12, 2014 11:58pm EDT

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BEIJING May 13 (Reuters) - China's central bank has asked commercial banks to quicken the pace of extending home mortgages and to set mortgage rates at reasonable levels, four sources told Reuters on Tuesday, underlining efforts to support the cooling property market.

The sources said the request came at a meeting between the People's Bank of China and some commercial banks on Monday.

Tight mortgages are considered one of reasons for the cooling of property market this year, as banks have raised mortgage rates for first-time home buyers or slowed the pace of extending mortgages due to tighter liquidity.

The central bank was not available for comment.

China's home prices rose at double-digit rates in most cities last year, but the market has shown signs of cooling since late 2013 as authorities clamped down on property speculation, and as banks made it harder for home buyers and small developers to get loans. (Reporting By Heng Xie and Zhao Hongmei)

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