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Another ditch to cool housing market

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It’s not the last ditch, but the goverment (China bank regulation commision, or CBRC) is raising the down payment for 2nd or 3rd time home buyers. They will need to put down 40% or higher (compared to 30% in the past). Obvioulsy we can understand the good intention of the goverment policy: contain the speculation in the housing martket. More importantly, I believe this move is to help the banks control the risks in the home loans. After all, most banks in China are owned by the goverment; and housing loans made up a large percent of bank lending and bottom line (profit). Nobody wants to see a “US subprime style” crisis in China. But can the housing market really be regulated? Or can this new policy be implemented to all the stake holders’ satisfication?

(The following is some home listings at a broker near Zhongshan Park. Full size pic can be seen here).

Shanghai home listing pic

We know a lot good intention policies in the past either did not got implemented, or worked out exactly to the opposite. Some examples include: the “budget housing (smaller units)” which is intended for middle or low income family, actually got sold to investors (speculators). The raise of tax (trading, land) increased the cost of pre-owned homes and new homes, respectively.

While I don’t want to predict the housing market up or down (and give buying advice based on that), I think potential home buyers would better off do their own financial plan for “house”. Don’t just wait for some miracle or help from the goverment or the banks.

Appendix (the excerpt of new rules):

商业银行应提请借款人按诚实守信原则,在住房贷款合同中如实填写所贷款项用于购买第几套住房的相关信息。对购买首套自住房且套型建筑面积在90平方米以下的,贷款首付款比例(包括本外币贷款,下同)不得低于20%;对购买首套自住房且套型建筑面积在90平方米以上的,贷款首付款比例不得低于30%;对已利用贷款购买住房、又申请购买第二套(含)以上住房的,贷款首付款比例不得低于40%,贷款利率不得低于中国人民银行公布的同期同档次基准利率的1.1倍,而且贷款首付款比例和利率水平应随套数增加而大幅度提高,具体提高幅度由商业银行根据贷款风险管理相关原则自主确定,但借款人偿还住房贷款的月支出不得高于其月收入的50%。

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