Business / Policy Watch

Henan seeks to boost housing demand

By Zheng Yangpeng ( Updated: 2012-06-26 13:31

Central China's Henan province has adjusted its certification method for first-time homebuyers to boost genuine demand, according to provincial government documents released on Sunday.

The document said any household that has not registered a property would be deemed to be a first-time homebuyer and would enjoy a mortgage interest rate discount as much as 30 percent off the benchmark interest rate.

The new policy means that no matter whether or not a household owns a house or had used bank loans to buy houses, it would enjoy the favorable policy for first-time homebuyers if there is no property registration.

Hu Jinghui, vice-president of property brokerage 5i5j Real Estate said unlike previous policies, which required both proof of no registration and no bank loan records for a house purchase to identify first-time homebuyers, Henan's new policy only requires proof that no property has ever been registered.

It is the first time the 30 percent discount has been confirmed in a government document, although banks have been putting it into practice.

It is not yet known if the new policies would be halted if higher level authorities deem it as a loosening of the current tight property policies.

Earlier this month, a move by the government of Shijiazhuang to boost the property market was called off by a higher-level administration. The proposed measures would have allowed the purchases of third homes if the per capita housing space of each family member was less than 30.6 square meters.

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