China to renovate 6 mn run-down houses in 2016

Beijing, Dec 28 (IANS) China plans to renovate 6 million run-down urban houses in 2016, the ministry of housing and urban-rural development announced on Monday.

The programme is a crucial way of providing low-income urban residents with affordable housing, Xinhua news agency reported.

China had a target of renovating 5.8 million homes in 2015, and in the first 10 months work began on 5.75 million units. The aim is to complete renewal of all rundown urban areas and dilapidated housing by 2020.

At Monday’s meeting, officials highlighted destocking housing inventories as a major task for 2016.

The ministry said it will improve control of the property market, and encourage real estate companies to merge and restructure.

China’s property market took a downturn in 2014 due to weak demand. This continued into 2015, with sales and prices falling, and investment slowing.

To combat the market weakness and a broader economic slowdown, China’s central bank cut benchmark interest rates five times and lowered banks’ reserve requirement.

The country also lowered down payment requirements for second-home purchases and some local governments have rolled back restrictions.

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