SHANGHAI has mapped out three major areas of development for the real estate sector this year to streamline the market, according to vice-mayor Xia Keqiang, who is also overseeing the planning and transportation system. Mr Xia said the areas focused on would help to make the real estate sector a more attractive, better regulated market. The city wants to enhance the dissemination of information concerning the market, to set up an exchange centre of international standards and to ensure that developers adhere to requirements in areas of planning and sales. Mr Xia said that as the real estate sector had developed rapidly in the past few years, the government and developers - both domestic and foreign - had found information about the property market inadequate. He said the aim was to make the Shanghai market more transparent, with information, such as how much land had been leased or released for lease, and how much would be up for redevelopment, being easily accessible. He said the information would benefit development companies because they would know the market's demand and supply position. 'Already we are providing information that is one year behind time,' he said. The second area is to set up an exchange centre with data about real estate from all districts and counties in Shanghai and link them up with world markets. Mr Xia said the real estate centre would be similar to stock markets but it had yet to reach international standards. The third area will be to ensure that developers follow their development plans. Mr Xia said some developers abandoned their plans for commercial gain. 'The development process is profit-driven. For instance, the developers would build residential blocks and forget about facilities such as schools and hospitals,' he said. He said committees would be set up to enforce such regulations. In the past three years, the number of developers in Shanghai has risen to more than 2,080 from about 90. Despite pressure on other mainland markets, the Shanghai government has predicted a growth this year because of increasing per capita wealth in the city, the growing popularity of property ownership and more willingness by banks to grant mortgages. The Shanghai Housing and Land Administration Bureau said individual buyers now constituted 29 per cent of the domestic market compared with eight per cent in 1992. Last year, about 34 million square feet of gross floor area was built and more than half of it sold. 'Every year, we add about 10.76 million sq ft of gross floor area to the market and still this falls short to demand,' Mr Xia said. He said infrastructure expansion and redevelopment of old districts were contributory factors to the demand for housing. Shanghai has calculated that it needs to build 161.5 million sq ft of gross floor area to resettle residents affected by infrastructure projects and demolition and to improve living conditions for people in the districts. Mr Xia said according to 1991 records, an area of about 3.92 billion sq ft needed to be demolished. The authorities have so far demolished about 1.07 billion sq ft. He said between 60 and 70 per cent of the funds raised from leasing land to foreign developers were used to resettle residents. The municipal government plans to achieve a per capita living space of 100 sq ft by 2000 from the average of less than 80 sq ft now.