Financial institutions stepped up lending to the real estate sector in the third quarter as the result of a warming market, statistics from the central bank showed Monday. Financial institutions had 11.74 trillion yuan (1.86 trillion U.S. dollars) in outstanding loans to the real estate sector as of the end of last month, up 12.2 percent year on year, the People\'s Bank of China said in an online statement. The growth rate was 1.9 percentage points higher than that of the end of the previous quarter. Outstanding loans for land development expanded 7.3 percent year on year to 846.1 billion yuan, up 6.5 percentage points at the end of the second quarter, while those for housing development grew 12.1 percent to 2.96 trillion yuan, up 0.8 percentage points, according to the statement. Loans made to individual housing purchasers gained 12.6 percent to reach 7.8 trillion yuan, 1.6 percentage points higher than that of the end of the second quarter, the bank said. Loans for affordable housing programs saw a slowdown in the third quarter. As of the end of September, outstanding loans to the sector totalled 521.5 billion yuan, an increase of 61.7 percent year on year but the growth rate down 1 percentage point from the previous quarter. The PBOC report showed that as of the end of last month, China\'s outstanding yuan-denominated loans had reached 61.51 trillion yuan, up 16.3 percent year on year.