Chinese cities ease home-buying rules as housing slump continues

Analysts say real estate sector unlikely to turn around this year despite recent interventions

China buildings

Three major cities in China, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou, eased rules for housing down payments and mortgages this week as the housing sector continues to struggle.

Shanghai and Shenzhen reduced down-payment ratios by 10 percentage points to a minimum of 20% for first-time buyers and 30% for second-home purchasers, on May 28 and 29, respectively.

Both cities also cut the minimum interest rates on first home mortgages to the loan prime rate (LPR) minus 45 basis points, compared with LPR minus

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