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Developers unlikely to offer discounts

TWO real estate fairs will start today in Shanghai, and industry analysts said most property developers are unlikely to offer big discounts.

The two events, one at Shanghai Exhibition Center in Puxi and the other at Pudong Exhibition Hall, will continue through next Monday, according to organizers.

"The one in Puxi could be the biggest so far this year in Shanghai with about 200 exhibitors, including real estate developers and brokerage firms," said Gong Min, a research manager at Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Ltd. "Developers will introduce promotions to attract visitors but direct price cuts are unlikely due to the recent new housing sales boom."

As of Monday, a total of 1.63 million square meters of new homes, excluding those built for relocated residents, had been sold across the city last month, according to Shanghai Uwin Real Estate Information Services Co. The April figure will exceed 1.8 million square meters, an increase of about 20 percent from March, the company predicted.

New home transactions have continued to soar since February. The rebound, mainly due to pent-up demand after prices declined, has been viewed by industry analysts as a recovery in sentiment after the market suffered drops in both transaction volume and prices.

However, a survey of home buyers found that it may still be a bit early to expect a full recovery.

More than 58 percent of survey respondents think home prices will continue to drop this year.


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