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Local used home buyers propel deals

THE first half of this month witnessed rather strong buying sentiment for used apartments as robust demand from end-users helped boost transactions across the city.

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

Transaction volume of second-hand homes jumped 62 percent in the first 15 days of this month from the same period a month earlier, and more than 40 percent of all deals were done in Zhabei, Putuo and Baoshan, according to Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Ltd, operator of the city's largest real estate brokerage.

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

Apartments of about 100 square meters costing below 1.5 million yuan (US$219,000) are currently 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 the current market momentum is mainly held up by growing demand from end-users.

"Favorable loan policies as well as tax and fee cuts unveiled late last year by the government to help people to improve their living conditions might be the main driver for the transaction boom," Ru said.

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

In the new home market, excluding those built for relocation uses, transactions fell slightly from the same period a month earlier.


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