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Shanghai unveils house-building plan
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About 20 million square meters of new homes will start construction this year in Shanghai - with a fifth being set aside for budget and low-rent houses, the city government says.

Some 25 million square meters of new houses will be built by the end of the year, with about 20 million square meters available for sales, according to Shanghai's annual housing plan for 2008.

Between eight million and 10 million square meters of land plots for residential use will be launched this year, with at least 20 percent allocated to build budget homes.

An extra 20,000 families will get access to low-rent houses offered by the government this year, according to the plan.

Last week, the city government said budget homes will be reintroduced in Shanghai to meet the needs of medium and low-income families.

Budget homes

Some 300,000 budget apartments, with a total gross floor area of 20 million square meters, will be built in Shanghai over the coming five years. Budget homes will account for 20 percent of the city's total new houses in future.

The city began building budget homes in 1995 but stopped in 1999. That's because new homes - whether budget or not - were sold at similar prices due to similar land costs, industry analysts said.

Other major Chinese cities also released their annual housing plans over the weekend, as required by the central government.

For instance, Beijing will introduce 17 million square meters of home plots this year, with 27.5 million square meters due to start building this year.

In the southern city of Guangzhou, meanwhile, between three million and 4.9 million square meters of land is allocated for building houses, with between 8.5 million and 11.8 million square meters of homes due to be built this year.

(Shanghai Daily February 5, 2008)

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