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December rise for Shanghai home prices

SHANGHAI'S housing index continued its northward trend in December, as increasing property prices boosted the gauge for 10 consecutive months.

The index, which monitors price fluctuations of existing homes across the city, climbed 1.22 percent over the month to 2,519.

"The growth in December was the third-largest monthly gain in 2009, following an increase of 1.26 percent in April and a rise of 1.23 percent in July," said Chi Shengyu, an analyst at the index compiler. "We expect home prices to continue to go up in the short term as most sellers are likely to pass on their rising transaction cost to buyers when a series of favorable loan and tax policies expired on December 31."

The prices of existing homes in five downtown districts rose by an average of 1.15 percent in December, an increase of 0.59 percent from November.

On a district basis, housing prices in Pudong New Area jumped the most, by 2.13 percent. Across the city, 59 out of the total 70 areas monitored by the index continued to grow, while four were unchanged.

The latest research by Century 21 China Real Estate showed sales of residential and commercial properties in Shanghai fell 12 percent to 28,700 units last month. The average price, however, gained 2 percent to 14,700 yuan (US$2,152) per square meter.


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