The growth in property loans continued to slow in the first quarter of this year amid a weakening housing market, China's central bank said yesterday.
Banks in China extended 242.7 billion yuan (US$38.6 billion) of new loans for land and property development in the first quarter, down 281.2 billion yuan from the same period of last year. The loans accounted for 10.2 percent of new loans issued in the first three months, a drop of 7.3 percentage points from a year ago, the People's Bank of China said.
A weakening property market in the country was cited as the reason for the drop as China carried on with restrictions such as limiting home purchases and raising lending interest rates for second-home buyers this year.
The National Statistics Bureau said that by volume, sales of homes, excluding government-funded affordable housing, fell 15.5 percent on an annual basis to 133.9 million square meters across China between January and March. By value, they shrank 17.5 percent to 709.9 billion yuan.
Meanwhile, home prices fell in March in 46 of the 70 major cities tracked by the bureau.
The China Banking Regulatory Commission said in a report earlier this week that the non-performing loan ratio for property loans fell last year.