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BEIJING, Oct 18 (Reuters) - China's new housing loans to individuals soared to 3.63 trillion yuan ($538.69 billion) in the first nine months, more than double the level for the same period last year, the central bank said on Tuesday.
New housing loans to individuals increased 1.8 trillion yuan in the nine months from a year earlier, accounting for 35.7 percent of total new loan issuance, Ruan Jianhong, a central bank official, said in a news release.
In September alone, new housing loans to individuals were 475.9 billion yuan, or 205.5 billion yuan higher than the same period last year, Ruan said.
The relatively rapid rise in new housing loans is due to a high level of transactions in first- and second-tier cities, he said. ($1 = 6.7386 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Yawen Chen and Elias Glenn; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)