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City to build more budget homes this year

THE city will increase the supply of affordable housing this year while cracking down on property speculation as home prices are already "too high," Mayor Han Zheng said today at the annual session of the municipal legislature.

The city will start building 12 million square meters of affordable homes by the year's end, or 60 percent of the city's yearly target for new housing. Of that, 4 million square meters, or one-third, will be budget homes.

In Shanghai, the affordable housing program mainly covers budget homes, low-rent apartments and houses built for relocated residents under urban redevelopment plans.

"We have to make it clear that housing development in Shanghai should be primarily for end users (instead of investors and speculators) and more ordinary homes (rather than high-end and luxury houses) should be built,'' Han said.

The city will expand its budget home program to more districts in the second half of this year after trials in Xuhui and Minhang. Meanwhile, restoration projects to improve old buildings will also be accelerated.

In addition, the city will monitor the housing market and may introduce more measures to cool down overheating if necessary. Continuously rising home prices had a negative impact on the city's sustainable development, Han said.


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