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End-users dominate sales of new homes in Shanghai

SALES of new homes jumped last month for the third consecutive month in Shanghai amid a continued robust demand from end-users.

A total of 1.89 million square meters of new houses, excluding those designated for relocation uses, were sold in the city last month, a month-on-month surge of 25 percent, or a year-on-year jump of 97 percent, according to statistics released yesterday by Shanghai Uwin Real Estate Information Services Co.

"Transaction volume of new homes has been maintaining a two-digit growth rate over the past three months, and the April figure already surpassed the monthly average of 1.73 million square meters recorded during the overheated (market in) 2007," said Lu Qilin, deputy head of research at Uwin. "A market fever could possibly return if the volume continues to soar."

Uwin research has found that end-users, instead of investors, remained the dominant force of home purchases in the local market.

Statistics showed that nearly 60 percent of new homes sold in the city last month were located between the Outer and Rural Ring roads, followed by 16 percent between the Middle and Outer Ring roads and 10 percent between the Inner and Middle Ring roads.

The supply of homes, meanwhile, fell to 1.15 million square meters last month from 1.25 million square meters in March, and average home prices rose 1.3 percent to 13,351 yuan (US$1,954) per square meter.

Analysts said the strong market momentum will certainly continue, at least over the next two months.

The two May Day holiday real estate fairs, which closed yesterday in the city, might be the latest indicators.

More than 170,000 people visited the Shanghai Exhibition Center for the four-day event whereas some 80,000 people did so last year, its organizers said yesterday. About 1.92 billion yuan worth of deals, including agreements of intention, were sealed during the fair which had some 200 exhibitors. Only 550 million yuan of deals were secured a year earlier.

Meanwhile, the smaller fair held in Pudong New Area saw 285 units of homes booked, organizers said.


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