BEIJING, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- Loans to China's real estate sector continued to grow at a slower pace in September as government purchase restrictions remain in place in major cities, data from the central bank showed Friday.
By the end of last month, financial institutions in China had lent 31.1 trillion yuan (4.7 trillion U.S. dollars) to the property sector, up 22.8 percent year on year, according to a report from the People's Bank of China (PBOC).
The growth was 1.4 percentage points lower than the rate seen by the end of June.
Outstanding loans for individual purchases went up 26.2 percent to 21.1 trillion yuan, retreating 4.6 percentage points from the previous quarter.
The data came after efforts to rein in property speculation, particularly in major cities.
Dozens of local governments have passed or expanded restrictions on house purchases and increased minimum down payments.
The boom was also cooled by tightening liquidity. While the central bank has left benchmark interest rates on hold, it has used diverse monetary tools to ensure liquidity and guide interbank market rates higher.
To guide money to the more needy sectors such as small businesses and agriculture, China's central bank last month announced a targeted reserve requirement ratio (RRR) cut to commercial banks that extend a big enough proportion of their outstanding or new loans to the desired industries.
Commercial banks whose annual outstanding or new loans in inclusive financing account for more than 1.5 percent of the total will enjoy a 0.5 percentage point RRR cut from the central bank's benchmark level from next year.
The RRR will be cut further by 1 percentage point if the ratio exceeds 10 percent, according to the central bank.
Inclusive financing covers credit support for small business owners, agricultural development, impoverished groups and students.
Friday's data showed the country's outstanding loans to small and micro businesses totalled 23.5 trillion yuan as of the end of September, accounting for 32.4 percent of overall business loans.