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Mortgage Deposit for Repeat Buyers May Rise
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The central bank is likely to ask commercial lenders to raise mortgage deposits to at least 40 percent for homebuyers who intend to buy a second apartment, a source said.

The central bank could release the new requirement later this week, the source told China Daily yesterday.

"Homebuyers might have to make a down payment of at least 40 percent to buy a second apartment," he said, adding that the move is an attempt to curb speculation in the property market, which might be intensified by rising inflation.

The minimum deposit for an apartment of more than 90 sq m is currently 30 percent, while for apartments less than 90 sq m it's 20 percent.

Food costs pushed up China's consumer price index by 6.5 percent in August from a year earlier, the fastest growth rate since December 1996. Rising inflation has put real interest rates for deposits in negative territory, compared with the 3.6 percent one-year key deposit rate.

This has raised concerns that more individuals will channel their money into the stock and property markets, fueling bubbles.

Property prices in 70 major cities jumped 8.2 percent in August from a year earlier after gaining 7.5 percent in July, according to figures from the National Development and Reform Commission.

Housing prices in Beijing rose 12.1 percent from a year earlier, while prices in the southern boomtown of Shenzhen went up 20.8 percent.

Beihai, Shenzhen, Urumqi, Beijing and Bengbu of East China's Anhui Province led the country in terms of price increases, with growth rates of 18.2 percent, 17.6 percent, 15.5 percent, 13.5 percent and 11.1 percent.

(China Daily September 13, 2007)

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