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Home deals soar as market sees robust sentiment

RISING demand among end-users for mid to low-end homes boosted buying sentiment for used apartments in Shanghai last month, real estate agencies in the city said yesterday.

Transactions soared 138.6 percent from January to 98,730 square meters while the average price for second-hand homes fell 5.9 percent month on month to 13,727 yuan (US$2,009) per square meter in February, according to statistics released by Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Ltd.

"The rally in transaction volume over the past month indicated that end-users' demand still remains robust and a package of positive policies from the government has been taking effect gradually,'' said Ma Ji, research head at Shanghai Centaline. "The fact that a considerable amount of deals were concluded in non-prime districts was the major reason for the price to decline.''

Statistics from Centaline, which operates 150 branches across the city, showed that 19 percent of used apartments sold in the city last month were in suburban Baoshan District, followed by Pudong New Area with 18.3 percent, Putuo District with 16.4 percent and Zhabei District with 10.9 percent.

Value for money

Across the city, second-hand apartments costing below 800,000 yuan were the most popular among buyers.

Homes in that category accounted for one-third of the total sold in the city last month, whereas homes costing between 800,000 yuan and 1.2 million yuan and those priced between 1.2 million yuan and 2 million yuan also remained highly sought after, accounting for 26.5 percent and 26.1 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Century 21 China Real Estate, another major brokerage in the city, disclosed that areas of second-hand homes transacted jumped 146 percent from a month earlier, with the mid to low-end sector contributing the most.

"Nearly half, or 48.4 percent, of used apartments sold in Shanghai last month were priced below 12,000 yuan per square meter,'' said Li Mingli, market research head for Century 21 Shanghai operations.

"Home buyers are regaining confidence and more value-for-money properties are in the market after corrections over the past months.''


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