Beijing: China has firmed up plans to begin construction on at least 7 million housing units next year for its citizens, amid rising demands from low-income groups.

Jiang Weixin, the Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development told a meeting on Friday that the target covers both newly-built subsidized housing units and houses in run-down areas that will undergo renovation.

Jiang was quoted as saying by a news agency that construction should be basically finished on five million of those housing units next year.

Amid growing demands from low-income groups, he underlined that residents' reasonable demand for purchasing house will be supported.

He said priority will be given to meeting the first-time buyers' need for loans, even as he underlined that regulation on the property sector will continue.