The Ministry of Construction ordered a stop to evictions of residents from state-owned land in a recent circular. The ministry said the move was aimed at slowing down investment in the property sector. The government cracked down on property lending, raising barriers against new construction-related loans earlier this year. Total loans in March amounted to US$201 billion, a rise of 20.1% from a year earlier, according to the People's Bank of China. Loans to the construction sector totaled US$3.4 billion in March, a drop of 4.7% from a year earlier.