Major Chinese banks have extended lower mortgage rates for home buyers in an effort to boost a weak property market, state media reported. Lenders including Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and China Construction Bank will begin offering mortgage rates at 70% of the benchmark rate to individuals who sought mortgages before October 27, 2008. The People’s Bank of China announced on October 27 that it would reduce the lower limit of interest rates on individual house loans to 70%, but it was unclear whether the lower rates would apply to homeowners with mortgages that predated the announcement. A weak property market has been widely seen as a contributing factor to a wider economic slowdown in China.
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