China is lending more to the property sector, especially affordable housing projects, the central bank said on Friday.
Outstanding yuan-denominated loans to the property sector at the end of March stood at 18.4 trillion yuan (3.02 trillion U.S. dollars), up 19.4 percent from the previous year.
In the first quarter, such lending expanded by 994 billion yuan, 196 billion yuan more than the same period last year. The expansion took about 27 percent of the total lending in the first three months. The ratio was up 0.6 percentage point year on year.
Loans to affordable housing construction hit 1.28 trillion yuan at the end of March, up 64.3 percent year on year.
In January-March, loans to affordable housing construction grew by 135 billion yuan, 86 billion yuan more year on year, 43.7 percent of the total lending to the property sector. The ratio was 24.4 percentage points higher year on year.
China's real estate market continued to weaken but with smaller price drops in March, leaving analysts to expect a further rebound with new relaxed mortgage rules.