More Chinese cities lift home-buying curbs to revive demand

BEIJING (Reuters) -Two major cities in eastern China lifted all curbs on home purchases and selling on Monday, joining several other cities in dropping restrictions to attract buyers and revive a largely frozen property market.

Jinan and Qingdao, two of the largest cities in China’s second-most populous province of Shandong, said homes in all areas are allowed to be put on the market, according to a government statement and a local media report.

Qingdao previously limited the number of homes that could be purchased in two districts. Jinan had similar measures.

Last week, three cities – Nanjing in eastern Jiangsu province and Dalian and Shenyang in northeastern Liaoning province – became the first group of big cities to eliminate curbs on home buying.

Smaller Chinese cities, whose property markets tend to have a larger share of their local economies, have already begun dismantling curbs.

Jiaxing city, a relatively small city in the eastern province of Zhejiang, announced it would lift all curbs in the city in late August, according to a local media report. It previously limited the number of homes non-local residents could buy in the city.

The moves were part of broader support measures for the sluggish property market, which accounts for a quarter of China’s economy. The measures include cuts in interest rates on existing mortgages.

China’s property sector has been in a tailspin since 2021 when the government issued strict rules to stop indebted developers from accumulating even more debt.

A sector-wide liquidity crunch followed, slowing down the completion of projects, weighing on home-buyer sentiment and depressing prices.

(Reporting by Albee Zhang and Ryan Woo; Editing by Neil Fullick and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)