China has achieved 72% of an annual target to provide 2.04 million units of affordable housing, state media Xinhua quoted the housing regulator as saying on Wednesday, part of efforts to bolster the long-term supply of low-cost homes.

China has been taking steps to increase the supply of affordable housing in recent years as high housing costs in major cities shut out many young buyers.

A total of 5.08 million units of affordable housing have been built across the country over the past two years, with an investment of more than 520 billion yuan ($71.40 billion), which can provide homes for 15 million young people, the regulator said.

Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng last week called for affordable housing to be placed under "strict closed management" and prohibited it from being listed for trading.

Last month, China's cabinet on Friday approved guidelines for planning and construction of affordable housing. ($1 = 7.2830 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Liangping Gao and Ryan Woo; Editing by Jane Merriman)