(ECNS) -- Some commercial banks have tightened mortgage loans in Beijing, but the overall impact is thought to be limited as stated-owned banks continue with policies unchanged.
Data from financial service platform rong360.com show that 20 of China's 533 banks have stopped issuing new mortgages.
In response to news that China CITIC Bank had stopped offering personal housing loans over 2 million yuan ($316,000) in Beijing, the major commercial bank said the measure aimed to help ensure the city's progress in regulating the property market.
"The adjustment is to strictly implement the housing loans policy and carefully guard against the credit fund inflowing into the property market," said the statement, adding that the new rule would have little impact over individuals or companies in Beijing.
Zhang Dawei, chief analyst at Centaline Property, said that more than 90 percent of the housing loans in Beijing were provided by five big state-owned banks, so changes in other commercial or smaller banks had limited influence.
Sources from several property agency firms also said major banks, including Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China and China Merchants Bank, had actually accelerated processing of mortgage loans compared to before Spring Festival, the Chinese New Year.
A staff member working for an outlet of real estate agency Lianjia said house buyers could choose from state-owned banks as well as other lenders, including Beijing Rural Commercial Bank, Bank of Beijing and some foreign banks, depending on the speed at which a loan could be granted.
In the capital city, banks have not raised the interest rate for mortgage loans, with most sitting 10 percent higher than the benchmark for first-time buyers and 20 percent higher than the benchmark for second-time buyers. However, Zhang said he believed it was highly possible the interest rate would continue to rise this year.
Yan Yuejin, a research director at E-house China R&D Institute, speculated that smaller banks had changed mortgage loan policies in order to pursue profits as Beijing tries to temper speculation in the property market.