Home buying regulations relaxed in 85 cities

As of April 20, more than 85 cities had eased home buying regulations, with measures ranging from looser purchasing restrictions, loan limitations and sales curbs to lowering down payments, cutting interest rates, providing support via provident fund loans, and others, according to the Zhuge Real Estate Data Research Center. “On the one hand, these policies have unleashed rational home demand, while on the other they have boosted home buyers’ confidence in the market outlook, which will help increase transactions in the coming months,” said Wang Xiaoqiang, Chief Analyst with the research center. She added that as the measures gradually take effect, the market will heat up step-by-step. The relaxed regulations are set to stabilize economic growth, ease the burden on real estate companies and improve local economies.

According to statistics from Centaline Property, more second-tier cities have eased curbs on the housing market, including Zhengzhou (Henan), Fuzhou (Fujian), Harbin (Heilongjiang), and Lanzhou (Gansu). In April, a handful of “hot spot” cities announced measures to encourage home buying. Suzhou in Jiangsu province eased its restrictions on both sales and purchases on April 11. One day later, purchasing restrictions were eased in the Lishui and Liuhe districts of Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province, as non-locals were allowed to buy their first homes without proof of social security status. On April 13, Huaibei in Anhui province announced that first-time home buyers or families can receive a maximum subsidy of CNY60,000 during the city’s Spring Home Exhibition, which concluded on May 4. Shanghai’s Lingang Special Area shortened its residential requirement for non-locals to buy homes from at least one year to a minimum of three months. Some other non-central areas of Shanghai and other cities are expected to roll out similar measures as long as their home market faces challenges, said Yan Yuejin, Director of the E-house China Research and Development Institution in Shanghai.

It is expected that in the first few months of this year the property market will continue last year’s low market trend before gradually rising in the latter half thanks to the macro-economic measures and demand recovery, said Lian Ping, Chief Economist of the Zhixin Investment Research Institute. “New home construction may rebound in the third quarter, and growth of the whole year’s real estate investment may rise at a slower pace of 3.5%, while sales will see an obvious recovery in the fourth quarter after gradually stabilizing in the third,” Lian said, as reported by the China Daily.