October 13, 2016 / 10:36 AM / a year ago

China bank regulator: 'Little to worry about' from mortgage loans

BEIJING, Oct 13 (Reuters) - China’s banking sector has “little to worry about” from its fast growing mortgage lending business, an official with the China Banking Regulatory Commission said on Thursday.

“The real estate market has limited direct impact on banks,” Wang Shengbang told reporters at a briefing.

While home mortgage loans account for two-thirds of all real estate loans, 55 percent of mortgage loans have a loan-to-value ratio of less than 60 percent, Wang said, adding that the average loan-to-value ratio of all mortgage loans is 55 percent.

“That level is low compared with global standards,” he said. “In other words, the safety of bank assets is protected.”

Wang also said that for 94 percent of mortgage loans, the monthly mortgage payment is less than 50 percent of a family’s income.

More than 20 cities have imposed measures, including higher mortgage down-payments, to cool hot property markets that have raised official alarm in Beijing about potential real estate bubbles.

Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), earlier this month said the Chinese government is “paying close attention” to rising property prices in some cities and will take appropriate measures to promote the real estate market’s “healthy development”. (Reporting by Shu Zhang and Matthew Miller; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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