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March 5, 2010

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Home » Business » Real Estate

Existing properties sales dive

SALES of existing properties in Shanghai plunged 57 percent in February from January but the average price rose to the highest on record.

Only 5,000 units of existing properties, mainly houses, were sold across the city last month, the lowest since 2006, according to a latest research released yesterday by Century 21 China Real Estate, operator of the city's second-largest property agency.

The average price, however, rose 11 percent from January to 15,200 yuan (US$2,225) per square meter last month, the first time it has climbed above the 15,000 yuan per square meter barrier.

"End-users dominated buyers in February in the secondary market, which was weak due to a couple of reasons, including the Spring Festival holiday, a prevailing sluggish sentiment amid a tighter credit policy and uncertainties over a further crackdown by the government," said Huang Hetao, a Century 21 researcher. "However, it is encouraging that we've started to receive increasing inquiries from buyers and the transaction volume might return to its normal level this month."

An inadequate supply of houses costing between 1 million yuan and 2 million yuan, most sought after by end-users, led to the average price rising last month, the firm said.

Across the city, Chongming County as well as the districts of Jinshan and Songjiang registered the smallest fall in volume - between 30 and 50 percent - in February, while other areas suffered drops of 50 to 70 percent, according to the company's research.

Shanghai's existing housing index rose by the slowest pace in 12 months in February due to a widespread wait-and-see sentiment among buyers, the index compiler said yesterday.

The index, which tracks prices of existing homes in the city, added 0.05 percent from January to 2,540 as the central government curbed credit since the start of this year.


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