Shenzhen Gintian Industry (Group) Co says it has started construction on real estate projects due to the loosening of bank credit and lowering of interest rates in the special economic zone. Yan Shaohua , development committee director, said bank credit had been relaxed since the first half of the year. As a result, construction on some projects could be stepped up, he said. The real estate projects include Jinxiang City Garden and Gintian Square in Shenzhen. Jinxiang City Garden will have a gross floor area of 1.5 million square feet, while Gintian Square near Lo Wu railway station will have 812,671 sq ft. Both projects will have commercial and residential space. Mr Yan said the company had started work on the fifth phase development of Shanghai International Garden, comprising low-rise residential blocks. The development in the city's Hongqiao area will have a gross floor area of 861,120 sq ft when completed. Another project is Jinlun apartments in Tianjin, which will have a floor area of 269,100 sq ft. Property development contributes about 60 per cent to the group's annual profits. Shenzhen officials said the market had been experiencing a slump for the past four years and the sector had been badly hit by Beijing's credit-tightening measures. Gintian Industry has expanded its line of interest by developing housing projects that cater to the middle to low income groups. The company also said it would concentrate efforts on developing projects in Shenzhen, Shanghai and Wuhan. The Shenzhen government has earmarked one billion yuan (about HK$930 million) to provide mortgage loans to buyers of certain residential projects in the city's districts of Baoan and Longgang. But the local real estate association said interest from developers was weak as banks offered unfavourable terms. Last year the government introduced measures to revitalise the market, including stricter controls on leasing new lots of land for development. Other measures included granting tax holidays to developers and buyers and giving foreign property buyers residency permits.