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February 4, 2017

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Home prices up but mood sluggish

MARKET sentiment for Shanghai’s residential market in the first month of the new year was sluggish even though the home prices continued to climb.

The area of new residential properties sold, excluding government-funded affordable housing, totaled 388,700 square meters in January, a month-on-month drop of 40 percent and a year-on-year plunge of 71 percent, Shanghai Uwin Real Estate Information Services Co said in a report yesterday.

These new homes were sold for an average 46,782 yuan (US$6,815) per square meter, an increase of 13.6 percent from December, and a rise of 30.2 percent from the same period a year ago, Uwin data showed.

A residential project in the outlying Baoshan District registered monthly sales of 225 units at an average cost of 52,800 yuan per square meter. Three other projects in last month’s top-10 list also cost more than 50,000 yuan per square meter — major reasons for the double-digit price increase.

The momentum among real estate developers was lackluster too last month when just around 371,000 square meters of new houses were released into the local market, compared with some 675,300 square meters launched in December.

“The market has entered its traditional slow season with a wait-and-see sentiment being a dominant force among both home seekers and developers,” said Lu Wenxi, senior manager of research at Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Co. “Such weakness will likely extend through the first half of February before some notable strength picks up again in March.”

During the weeklong Spring Festival holiday, which ended on Thursday, only 949 square meters of new houses, or eight units in total, were sold across the city, a drop of 71.1 percent from the same holiday period in 2016, Centaline data showed.


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