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Funds in Shanghai properties expand

THE housing market went through a bumpy ride over the past year but investments in residential development and other segments in the real estate market in the city continued to grow last year, Shanghai Municipal Housing, Land and Resource Administration Bureau said yesterday.

Total investment in the city's housing sector rose 2.5 percent to 80.5 billion yuan (US$11.8 billion) in the first 11 months last year while funds poured into the real estate industry overall climbed 4.7 percent to 126.2 billion yuan during the period.

"It is rather obvious that it could be hard to maintain such growth this year amid an uncertain economic scenario both in the country and around the globe," Zhang Qi, an analyst at China Index Academy, a property research institution, told Shanghai Daily yesterday. "However, I don't expect a significant decline either if we take into account the local government's aggressive plan for budget homes and low-rent houses. Very likely, it would remain little changed compared to 2008.''

Under an earlier announced blueprint, Shanghai will build 20 million square meters of budget homes, or about 300,000 units, between last year and 2012. Last year, a total of 4.03 million square meters of budget homes, as well as 5.38 million square meters of homes for relocated residents, started construction in the city.

Shanghai's housing market went on a roller-coaster ride last year after demand eased quickly from the second half when the global financial crisis began to spread. Sales of new houses plunged 42 percent year on year as of November, Mayor Han Zheng said at the weekend.


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