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200 Million Sq. M. Needed Annually for Urban Homes

A research report released Wednesday says that Chinese cities will need 200 million square meters of new housing annually by 2020 to meet the needs of urbanization.

The Environmental and Development Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), a government think tank, published the report on real estate development in China.

The report indicated that the urbanization rate would rise by 55 percent in 2020, leading to a total 700 million urban dwellers nationwide. If each has a residence of 20 square meters, the cities would need 200 million square meters of new housing each year to keep pace with population growth.

Last year, China's investment in real estate topped 1 trillion yuan (US$120.9 billion), accounting for 18.3 percent of total fixed assets investment.

In the first four months of this year, real estate investment jumped 34.6 percent over the same period of last year.

The report warns cities in more developed east China of excessively rapid growth in housing prices, oversupply of expensive houses and high-risk speculation in the real estate business.

(People's Daily June 3, 2004)

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