China's Shenzhen unveils steps to cool home prices-Xinhua

BEIJING, Oct 4 (Reuters) - China’s boomtown of Shenzhen has rolled out new steps, including higher mortgage down payments and home purchase restrictions, Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday, joining other Chinese cities in their attempt to cool soaring home prices.

First-time home buyers with no mortgage records will still pay minimum down payments of 30 percent, but down payments for those who have mortgage records but no homes will be raised to no less than 50 percent, Xinhua quoted a government document as saying.

Down payments for second home buyers in the city in China’s southern Guangdong province, near Hong Kong, will be increased to no less than 70 percent, it said without giving further details.

Separately, local media reported on Tuesday that Suzhou in China’s eastern Jiangsu province has unveiled fresh steps, including higher down payment requirements, to cool the housing market.

Chengdu, Jinan, Wuhan and Zhengzhou have already announced new restrictions on property purchases as the government tries to damped home prices stoked by property speculators in second- and third-tier cities across the country.

Those measures were the latest in a string of steps to tighten credit flowing into the property sector as the government tries to balance the need to prevent bubbles while stimulating economic growth.

The average new home price in 70 major cities climbed an annual 9.2 percent in August, up from 7.9 percent in July, according to data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics. (Reporting by Kevin Yao; Editing by Alison Williams)