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Shanghai home buyers return after the National Day holiday

SENTIMENT among home buyers rebounded in Shanghai last week as the market stepped out of the week-long National Day holiday doldrum, latest industry data showed.

The area of new residential properties sold, excluding government-funded affordable housing, jumped 37.1 percent from the previous week to 235,000 square meters, Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Co said in a report released today.

By district, Jiading took a lead with a seven-day transaction volume of 42,000 square meters, trailed by Qingpu and Pudong New Area, where new home purchases totaled 29,000 square meters and 24,000 square meters, respectively.

"It was, in fact, not a significant rebound," said Lu Wenxi, a senior manager of research at Centaline. "As more tightening measures continued to be rolled out as the government vowed to tame the red-hot property market, no major recovery in buyers' sentiment should be expected."

On October 8, Shanghai announced a series of measures that mainly included raising land supply and strengthening supervision of funding sources for land purchases, becoming one of the latest in the country to step up efforts to curb speculative property purchases.

The average cost of these new homes stood at 44,601 yuan (US$6,611) per square meter, a week-over-week rise of 3.8 percent, according to Centaline data.

A residential project in outlying Jiadong became the most sought-after development after selling 119 apartments at an average price of 36,070 yuan per square meter. Among the 10 best-selling projects, three cost more than 50,000 yuan a square meter while two asked for less than 20,000 yuan per square meter, a quite balanced mix according to Lu.

On the supply side, new residential properties totaling 164,000 square meters, primarily low- and medium-end houses, were launched into the market, a surge of 78.5 percent from the previous week, Centaline data showed.

"Developers have been accelerating their paces to release products into the market as they have felt more pressure from the government which has made it very clear to cool down the overheated market," Lu said. "However, we don't expect to see a notable rise in home purchases despite the increase in new home supply as more home seekers are likely to take a wait-and-see attitude as government interfered."


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