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September 26, 2009

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Existing home sales market to get weaker

SHANGHAI'S existing home market is expected to weaken for another month in September as a lack of demand from buyers could reduce transactions by 10 to 20 percent from August, according to two city real estate brokerages.

Chen Yujue, deputy general manager with Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Ltd, said: "While most home owners remained optimistic and unwilling to yield over prices, more buyers are taking a 'wait-and-see' attitude."

Transactions of existing properties at Centaline's 160 branches across the city may fall by more than 10 percent this month, Chen estimated. In August, they had dropped by 20 percent from July to some 23,000 units, the company said.

Shanghai Hanyu Property Consulting Co Ltd also said yesterday that transactions at its branches had fallen by about 20 percent so far this month.

"Price gaps between sellers and home seekers have widened over the last couple of months since the market picked up strength in March," said Shao Minghao, head of research at Hanyu. "Though some home owners have already started to lower their asking prices a bit to lure buyers, most offers simply appear unattractive to buyers."

For example, Hanyu said, an apartment development on Longyang Road in Pudong was trading at around 19,185 yuan (US$2,808) per square meter in August and prices fell only slightly to around 18,823 yuan this month.


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