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Budget homes receive backing

THE Shanghai government is determined to build more budget apartments to sell to low-income families despite complaints from real estate developers saying cheap housing brings down the price of their projects, the local housing authority said yesterday.

Liu Haisheng, director of the Shanghai Housing Guarantee and Administration Bureau, told a news conference the local government is making all efforts to find suitable land to start another 6 million square meters of budget housing complexes before the end of the year.

When asked to comment on the fact some real estate developers have complained when budget homes are planned near their complexes, Liu said the idea of blaming budget housing for affecting nearby commercial apartments' market prices is "not solidly grounded."

Liu also said local real estate prices started to rise again in April following moderate declines since last October.

He told the conference the government is planning to take action to increase the supply of new apartments on the market as a way to stabilize residential housing prices.

"The government hopes the price of local residential apartments could be stable and it doesn't expect prices to grow rapidly," Liu said.

He also said Shanghai may loosen the standards for applying for budget apartments in the future. Families with an average monthly salary of 2,300 yuan (US$337) per adult can apply for a budget home, if they meet other criteria.


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