China puts squeeze on villa boom – AP

From The Associated Press:

China has banned the use of new land for luxury villas and will tighten scrutiny of banks’ lending practices, expanding a campaign to rein in a building boom and cool economic growth, state media reported Thursday.

Measures issued by the Ministry of Land and Resources also call on local officials to supply more land for “smaller and cheaper houses,” the Xinhua press agency and newspapers said. They said that the new restrictions took effect Wednesday.

The central bank will step up scrutiny of bank lending to restrain “excessive investment and loans growth” blamed on “a flood of new construction projects,” according to news reports, which gave no details of the new controls. [Full Text]

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