(Updates with Hangzhou's latest move)
BEIJING Aug 28 Hangzhou, one of the Chinese
cities worst affected by an oversupply of housing and weakening
property prices, will abolish all home purchase curbs from
Friday, the official Xinhua news agency said, as local
authorities seek to support a cooling market.
Restrictions on purchases of homes smaller than 140 sq. m.
(1,507 square feet) in the city, capital of the eastern province
of Zhejiang, will be lifted, the agency said. Limits on
purchases of larger homes have already been scrapped.
The unwinding of property controls is a turning point in
China's housing policy, which has been steadily tightened since
2009 to contain frothy home prices.
Many analysts now believe the slowing property market is the
biggest risk to the world's second-largest economy.
In China, regional governments earn a large chunk of their
revenue by selling state land.
Out of 46 such governments that introduced home-purchase
restrictions, at least 32 of them have openly or quietly relaxed
such curbs this year, according to data from CRIC, a unit of
real estate services firm E-House China.
But others have not budged, with higher downpayment levels
and limits on the number of homes that residents can buy still
in place for a fifth year to temper house prices, CRIC said.
Here are the measures taken to bolster the property market.
** Below are the cities that have removed limits on the
number of homes that residents and non-residents alike can buy,
allowing them to own more than one home:
Hangzhou of Zhejiang province (Aug 29)
Xian of Shaanxi Province (Sept 1)
Harbin of Heilongjiang Province (Aug 16)
Kunming of Yunnan Province(Aug 11)
Zhengzhou of Henan Province (Aug 9)
Changsha of Hunan Province (Aug 6)
Taiyuan of Shanxi Province (Aug 4)
Shaoxing of Zhejiang Province (Aug 4)
Hefei of Anhui Province (Aug 2)
Jinhua of Zhejiang Province (Aug 1)
Xuzhou of Jiangsu Province (Aug 1)
Wenzhou of Zhejiang Province (July 29)
Shijiazhuang of Hebei Province (July 28)
Haikou of Hainan Province (July 23)
Jinan of Shandong Province (July 10)
Hohhot of Inner Mongolia Region (June 27)
** The following cities have relaxed home purchase
restrictions with conditions:
* Foshan of Guangdong Province (Aug 7)
Individuals who are registered as residents can buy two
homes and non-residents who do not own any property in the city
can buy a house.
Limits on home ownership now apply to individuals, compared
to previously when they were applied to households.
Before the change in rules, households could not own more
than two houses while non-residents who have paid more than a
year's worth of taxes could buy no more than one property.
* Qingdao of Shandong Province (Aug. 1)
Buyers can buy homes larger than 144 square metres in
downturn areas. Limits on home purchases have been scrapped in
* Ningbo of Zhejiang Province (July 31)
Buyers can buy existing homes or homes larger than 90 square
metres in downturn areas. Restrictions on home-buying have been
removed in suburban areas.
* Hangzhou of Zhejiang Province (July 29)
Buyers can buy homes larger than 140 square metres. Limits
on home purchases have been scrapped in the Xiaoshan and Yuhang
* Wuxi (July 26) and Suzhou of Jiangsu Province (July 19)
Buyers can acquire homes larger than 90 square metres.
* Nanning of Guangxi Province (April 29)
Residents in an economic zone near Nanning now have the
right to buy homes in the city, expanding the pool of potential
buyers to beyond the city's dwellers.
** The following cities or provinces have raised the sizes
of mortgage loans or have offered subsidies to banks which
provide cheap mortgage loans:
* Jiangxi Province (Aug 21)
Banks are urged to cut minimum downpayment for second-home
* Fujian Province (Aug 1)
Eligible second-home buyers can enjoy the same preferential
mortgage and downpayment policies as that for the first-home
Banks are urged to increase loans to developers and home
* Sichuan Province(July 1-Dec 31)
Banks that offer mortgage loans lower than, or at, the
benchmark lending rates to first home buyers will get government
subsidies equivalent to 3 percent of their extending mortgage
* Tongling of Anhui Province (May 5)
Eligible first-home buyers will receive state subsidies
equivalent to 1 percent of the value of their homes. Maximum
mortgage sizes will be raised to 300,000 yuan ($48,600) from
250,000 yuan for families with only one working parent, and down
payment levels for first-home buyers will be cut to 20 percent,
from 30 percent.
Source: Local government websites, official media
($1=6.1768 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Shao Xiaoyi and Koh Gui Qing; Editing by Prateek
Chatterjee and Clarence Fernandez)