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Home buyers favor used apartments

USED apartments attracted home buyers in the first half of this month as robust demand from end-users helped boost transactions across the city.

In particular the districts of Zhabei and Putuo, as well as some areas in Baoshan and Huangpu, proved to be the most popular among local buyers, statistics from major real estate agencies reveal.

The transaction volume of second-hand homes jumped 62 percent in the first 15 days of February compared to the same period a month earlier, and among all, more than 40 percent of the deals were reached in Zhabei, Putuo and Baoshan, according to Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Limited, the operator of the city's largest real estate brokerage.

"Price cuts in new residential projects in Daning area (of Zhabei) have helped reduce the price for second-hand homes nearby by between 5 and 10 percent on average from their peak levels," said Cheng Xi, the director for Centaline's Zhabei operation. "And we're getting more clients who want to improve their own living conditions."

Apartments of around 100 square meters with a price tag under 1.5 million yuan (US$219,411) are currently the most sought after by Centaline clients, the company said.

Ru Yi, a branch manager at Century 21 China Real Estate, another major property brokerage in the city, agreed that the current market momentum is mostly shored up by growing demand from end-users.

"Favorable loan policies as well as tax and fee cuts introduced late last year by the government could be the main driver for the current trade boom," Ru said.

Century 21 research has found that 31 percent of the used apartments sold in the city last month were units of between 90 and 120 square meters, traditionally the most preferred type by end-users. That compared to 23 percent and 28 percent for the third and fourth quarter of 2008 respectively.

Meanwhile, in the new home market (excluding those built for relocations), the transaction volume fell slightly from the same period a month earlier with houses in more remote areas topping the best sellers.

More than 2,640 units of new houses, or 292,200 square meters, were sold in the city in the first 15 days of this month, compared to the 2,750 units, or 316,476 square meters, sold in the first half of January, Shanghai Uwin Real Estate Information Services Co said today.

Apartments in the Yanghang and Dachang areas in Baoshan, Waigaoqiao in Pudong and Jiuting in Songjiang were the most popular, Uwin said.


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