By Jiahui Huang

Chinese officials have approved more than $17 billion in loans for a "white list" of real-estate projects, offering fresh signs that Beijing is moving forward to prop up the country's sluggish property market.

China's housing regulator said Wednesday that 123.6 billion yuan ($17.19 billion) in loans had been approved for projects as of Feb. 20. That includes CNY29.43 billion already loaned out to 162 projects in 57 cities.

Chinese local govenments in January created their white list of projects eligible for stimulus, including some from troubled property companies such as Country Garden Services, Sunac and CIFI. Chinese banks will review the white lists from local governments and release loans to approved projects.

Analysts said the loans approval offers a sign that Beijing is following through on plans to support property projects and ensure the delivery of promised housing, but it will have limited impact on fueling new investment.

"It could ease homebuyers' concerns on uncompleted properties and delivery," said Sonija Li, Maybank's head of retail research.

The move comes after the Chinese central bank on Tuesday lowered its five-year loan prime rate by 25 basis points, the largest cut since the rate was introduced in 2019. That has spurred hopes of boosting demand for mortgages, which are anchored to the rate.

Write to Jiahui Huang at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

02-21-24 0616ET