BEIJING (Reuters) - Loans for home buyers in Beijing dropped 20 percent in the second to fourth weeks of April compared with the previous three weeks, state media said on Saturday, a sign that a flurry of tough curbs has helped calm the red-hot property market.
Commercial banks in Beijing granted 1.53 billion yuan ($222 million) in loans to home buyers, the official Xinhua news agency said. First-time home buyers accounted for 82 percent of the loans.
The drop follows unprecedented tough restrictions Beijing announced in March to fight soaring property prices, including tighter mortgage checks and a crackdown on home buyers who file for divorce to skirt second-home purchase rules.
Six of China's largest commercial banks also raised interest rates on housing loans in Beijing for both first and second-time home buyers from May 1.
Similar policies have also cooled home-buying demand in other cities.
The southwestern metropolis of Chongqing launched a six-month crackdown on illegal property sales, Xinhua said.
Home sales in Nancang, capital of Jiangxi province, also slumped 46 percent in April from a year ago, it said.
Reporting by Meng Meng and Benjamin Kang Lim; Editing by Tom Hogue