Hainan, China's southernmost province and a victim of the mainland's wild property bubble days of the early 1990s, still has 30 billion yuan worth of bad property assets that need to be resolved. That means nearly 1.3 million square metres of aborted projects that need to be resold, according to Yuan Xiumei, vice-mayor of Haikou, where the bulk of Hainan's property investments are. 'Our next step - we need to further take down some [aborted] buildings and clear up the mess surrounding property rights [of some buildings],' she said. 'The market is healthier now ... but we still need some time.' Prices for newly built flats now averaged about 2,300 yuan a square metre, Xinhua reported. That level was just over half the average of 4,500 yuan a square metre recorded in early 1993. The Hainan statistics bureau said third-quarter prices rose 5.1 per cent from the previous quarter. This compares with double-digit rises more than a decade ago. But many residents, who earn an average of 700 yuan a month, lament that prices are still beyond their reach. Hainan was left with more than four million square metres of aborted projects when the market crashed after Beijing imposed austerity measures in 1993 to cool the overheated economy. Ms Yuan said: '[After that] all the investors and bosses fled. They had used bank loans to fund the projects.' Hainan's property market 'made billionaires and millionaires' of many, she said. But the economy was left with nothing. To pick up the pieces, the central government allocated 400 million yuan to provincial authorities to set up a state asset management centre primarily to manage and revive real estate assets. Officials said many of the aborted properties had been revived and disposed of only in the past few years using private capital from prosperous Zhejiang province, mainly Wenzhou city. Ms Yuan said the government was toying with the idea of selling Hainan as a place for retired people and holiday getaways for the rich.