Robust demand for Chinese property as mortgage loans jump in Q1

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China extended 1.7 trillion yuan (S$345.1 billion) in property loans in the first quarter of 2017, central bank data showed on Friday, reflecting robust demand in the sector.

Property loans, comprised mainly of individual mortgages and loans for real estate development, accounted for 40.4 percent of all new loans made in the quarter, data from the People's Bank of China (PBOC) showed.

The increase was higher than the first quarter of 2016, when lending hit 1.5 trillion yuan and sales growth accelerated to a near three-year high boosted by a range of official stimulus measures.

It was also a significant rebound from the previous quarter's 1.21 trillion yuan, a Reuters'calculation based on central bank data showed, when demand was oppressed by a slew of property curbs introduced in October until sales picked up again this year.

Outstanding property loans rose 26.1 per cent from a year earlier to 28.39 trillion yuan at the end of the first quarter, it said.

Outstanding individual mortgages rose 35.7 per cent from a year earlier by the end of the first quarter to 19.05 trillion yuan, the PBOC said in a report posted on its website.

Marking a departure from previous quarters, the PBOC did not disclose the net increase in individual mortgages in the first quarter.