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Apartments costing less as sales begin to rise

APARTMENT prices continued to fall in most areas of the city last month while transactions began to increase, Shanghai's second-hand housing index compiler said yesterday.

The monthly index, which tracks prices of existing homes in 52 city areas, slipped 4 points to 2,293 in February, extending losses for seven consecutive months after a 22-month rally.

"Transaction volume has been boosted over the past month as price retreats helped lure buyers," said Chi Shengyu, an analyst at the index compiler's office.

"We've found that transaction volume of used homes soared 80 percent in February whereas prices in 30 areas fell during the period at an average 0.77 percent.''

Seven prime districts encountered setbacks last month with an average decrease of 0.49 percent, while three downtown districts -- Jing'an, Huangpu and Luwan -- managed to secure gains of 0.97 percent, 0.7 percent and 0.68 percent, respectively, the index compiler said.

In particular, second-hand homes around the city's Middle Ring Road were highly sought after.

Across the city, used apartments in Yuyuan Garden area in Huangpu got the biggest price increase of 1.86 percent, followed by Nanjing Road W. in Jing'an and Zhongshan Road S. in Luwan, up 1.82 percent and 1.57 percent respectively.

Among losers, Luoshan, Shangnan and Jinqiao, all in Pudong, tumbled the most by 2.01 percent, 1.95 percent and 1.40 percent respectively.

Meanwhile, the local rental index dipped for a fifth consecutive month in February, closing 8 points lower at 1,196.

Demand for high-end apartments fell the most last month in Lujiazui and Xujiahui, with rentals in the two areas dropping 3.5 percent and 3.4 percent respectively.

Meanwhile, rentals for mid-end properties and low-end apartments lost 0.5 percent and 0.4 percent respectively.


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