Mortgage interest rates in some major Chinese cities have seen adjustments following the latest benchmark lending rate cut, and industry experts believe the lowered cost of housing loans will further stimulate reasonable consumption demand for residential properties.
Personal home lending interest rates in the top-tier cities of Beijing, Shanghai, as well as Shenzhen and Guangzhou in Guangdong province, were all adjusted downward following the cut in the market-based benchmark lending rate by the People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, on Thursday.
The PBOC announced the one-year loan prime rate came in at 3.7 percent, down from 3.8 percent a month earlier, while the over-five-year LPR－on which many lenders base their mortgage rates－was lowered by 5 basis points to 4.6 percent.
Due to the lowered mortgage lending benchmark rates, housing loan rates for first-time homebuyers offered by several commercial banks in Shanghai have fallen below 5 percent to as low as 4.95 percent, and those for people already having existing property mortgages declined to 5.65 percent, the Securities Times reported.
Enquiries at 11 major commercial lenders in the capital showed that interest rates for first-time homebuyers decreased to 5.15 percent at the moment, and 5.65 percent for those applying for home loans for the second time.
The downward-trending housing mortgage interest rates, though differentiated among various commercial banks, are spreading to more cities, including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, as well as Suzhou, Jiangsu province.
Mainstream housing mortgage interest rates edged down 8 basis points month-on-month in the 103 key cities tracked by the Beike Research Institute in January, covering both first-time homebuyers and buyers already possessing mortgages.
Experts said that like the previous over-five-year LPR cut announced in April 2020, when the nation's economy was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, the latest change is also aimed at beefing up the broad economy.
The stabilization of this year's economy cannot be achieved without a stable property market as well as the confidence of both homebuyers and property developers, said Chen Wenjing, deputy director of research with the China Index Academy.
The LPR cut will play an active role in stabilizing the economy, easing real estate enterprises' financing costs and lowering homebuyers' costs.
Taking the 30-year 1 million yuan ($158,100) fully amortized mortgage for example, the monthly payment would be reduced by about 30 yuan from 5,156 yuan, when the LPR was set at 4.65 percent, said Yan Yuejin, director of Shanghai-based E-house China Research and Development Institution.
"The lowered cost of housing loans will activate reasonable home consumption demand and promote market transactions, while improved supply and demand will enable the real estate market to grow steadily," Yan said.
"The LPR cut cemented this year's monetary environment keynote of being steady and comparatively easing," said Xu Xiaole, chief analyst with the Beike Research Institute.
The decrease in the over-five-year LPR will enhance people's purchasing power, which will encourage housing consumption as well as personal spending, Xu said.
Zhang Dawei, chief analyst at Centaline Property Agency Ltd, said not all home loans can enjoy the latest interest rate cuts immediately. Only newly applied housing mortgages will be calculated under new LPR rates at the outset.