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June 2, 2017

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Dull sentiment clouds housing market

A lackluster sentiment lingered over Shanghai’s housing market last month amid stringent restraint measures while two holidays during the month also clipped interest of home seekers.

The area of new homes sold, excluding government-subsidized affordable housing, totaled around 710,000 square meters across the city in May, up 4.9 percent month on month but a year-on-year drop of 28.1 percent, Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Co said in a report released yesterday.

Lu Wenxi, senior manager of research at Centaline, attributed the low transactions to “tightening measures that were rolled out as well as two holidays that fell last month — Labor Day and Dragon Boat Festival — which affected buyers’ home-purchasing enthusiasm.”

The local industry watchdog said in early May that a lottery system must be introduced in property sales at all new residential developments in the city. Notary offices need to be involved in the sales process to ensure fair play, the government said, without giving more details when the new regulation should be enforced.

The new houses sold for an average of 48,312 yuan (US$7,093) per square meter, up 2.9 percent month on month, Centaline data showed.

A housing project in the city’s outlying Nanhui in the Pudong New Area, with prices set by the government and built for qualified buyers, was the best-selling development in May when it sold 440 apartments for an average of just over 9,000 yuan per square meter.

Around 446,000 square meters of new homes, with most targeting budget-tight first-time buyers and costing under 40,000 yuan per square meter, were released locally last month, down 22.2 percent from April, Centaline data showed.

On a year-on-year basis, the supply plunged 64.9 percent.


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