Early this April, the Sanya government announced its plan to halt the construction of small apartments measuring less than 80 sqm in a move that will likely make it even harder to find affordable housing in this already-expensive city.

Sanya has been enjoying a boom in tourist numbers in recent years after the provincial government announced plans to develop the island province into an international tourism hotspot, and that has boosted demand for villas and mansions.

Small apartments have been in high demand among buyers from outside the province, causing overpopulation and a scramble for better infrastructure in the city, said authorities.

In response to complaints from local residents that they will not be able to afford housing, local authorities said the local affordable housing projects will not be effected by the new measure.

Wang Yong, Mayor of the Sanya Municipal Government, said the local government will actively promote the optimization of the internal structure of Sanya's real estate industry, and focus on the development of business real estate including resort hotels, theme hotels, leisure vacation resorts, business office buildings, cultural educational buildings and commercial buildings. 

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