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Good home deals now and long-term prospects upbeat

INDUSTRY experts still remain upbeat about the long-term prospects for Shanghai's real estate market and said the current slowdown could offer buyers opportunities for bargain deals.

Yin Kunhua, a retired professor from Shanghai University of Finance and Economy and an industry researcher, said at a property seminar on Saturday that the recent initiatives introduced by the central and local governments, including a tax cut and favorable loan policies, are expected to help the market recover. But he said more should be done.

"In my opinion, the government should consider more forceful policies such as a rebate of individual income tax, which was previously done in the city, to help people afford better homes," Yin told a seminar in Shanghai. "Meanwhile, investment (rather than speculative) demand from people should also be encouraged."

Meanwhile, Cai Weimin, an industry veteran from Taiwan, said he expected the local real estate market to hit its bottom by the end of the year's first half.

His previous industry experience in Taipei told him that home buying sentiment in major metropolitan cities such as Shanghai would likely pick up during an economic slowdown as real estate, rather than stocks, futures or other financial tools, might appear to be comparatively safer investments.

Both experts believed high-quality properties in prime locations are always among the top choices for bargain seekers under the current market correction.

Shanghai's second-hand housing index, which tracks prices of used apartments across the city, fell for a fifth consecutive month last month but the drop was the smallest.

A real estate fair held over the weekend in the city also indicated a similar positive sign. The fair, mainly targeting affluent Chinese from overseas and the Yangtze River Delta region, received more than 2,000 visitors who viewed 23 projects on display, according to Shanghai Transit Real Estate Co, a major organizer of the event. It said an ad hoc survey found more than 500 deals may be secured.


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