China spends $256 billion on shantytown redevelopment in 2018

FILE PHOTO: A man looks at a shantytown to be redeveloped, next to apartment buildings, in Fu county in the south of Yanan, Shaanxi province, China January 2, 2019. REUTERS/Yawen Chen

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s housing ministry said on Tuesday investment in a massive shantytown redevelopment project totaled 1.74 trillion yuan ($255.68 billion) last year.

Construction began on 6.26 million housing units in 2018, the ministry said on its website. China set the 2018 full-year target at 5.8 million units.

The social project also boosted broader property demand in China as residents were encouraged to use cash compensation to buy a new home when their existing one was demolished, analysts said.

Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Kim Coghill