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Deals in high-end apartments increase

THE transaction volume of high-end apartments in Shanghai jumped by an average 50 percent over the past three weeks, with buyers attracted to homes in Lujiazui, Nanjing Road W. and Gubei areas, according to Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Ltd.

The buyers were seeking second-hand luxury apartments costing between 30,000 yuan (US$4,392) and 40,000 yuan per square meter, Shanghai Centaline, which operates the city's largest real estate brokerage chain, said yesterday.

''Phone inquiries and home viewing appointments for luxury houses jumped significantly in Lujiazui since the beginning of this month and the transaction volume has already soared by about 60 percent in the area compared to the same period a month earlier,'' Ma Ji, head of research at Shanghai Centaline, told Shanghai Daily yesterday in a phone interview.

"The price correction of high-end apartments over the past few months has helped boost market demand,'' Ma said.

A worsening economic situation had slashed home sales and curbed price rises in the market, industry watchers said. They added that even at the moment the prices of several luxury apartments have been brought down to levels seen in 2006.

Centaline statistics showed that the transaction volume of second-hand homes more than doubled in February and apartments sold below 1.2 million yuan per unit accounted for 60 percent of the total contracts that were completed last month.


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