China sees steady growth of property loans
BEIJING: Loans to China's real estate sector continued to rise at a steady pace as the housing market gradually warmed up, data from the central bank showed Friday. By the end of last month, financial institutions in China had lent 21 trillion yuan ($3.2 trillion) to the property sector, up 21 percent year on year, according to a report from the People's Bank of China (PBOC). The growth was 2.1 percentage points faster than the rate at the end of 2014, according to the report. Outstanding loans for real estate development amounted to 6.56 trillion yuan as of the end of 2015, while loans for individual purchases jumped 23.2 percent to 14.18 trillion yuan, up 5.7 percentage points from the end of 2014. The data came as China's sluggish housing market started to pick up on the back of a string of government support policies. Of the 70 large and medium-sized cities surveyed in December, new home prices climbed month on month in 39, up from 33 in the previous month, official data showed.