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China's Central Bank Gives Cities Room to Lower Mortgage Rates

China's Central Bank Gives Cities Room to Lower Mortgage Rates

China's central bank is giving local governments leeway to lower mortgage rates for first-time home buyers, in a bid to shore up the nation's slumping real-estate market. The People's Bank of China said late Thursday that cities that have recorded month-on-month and year-on-year drops in home prices between June and August can relax the floor on mortgage rates for first-time buyers. The move could help boost confidence among prospective home buyers at a time when sentiment has been hurt by the failure of more than 300 property projects to deliver homes on time, resulting in mortgage boycotts.