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Luxury market shows strong recovery signs

HIGH-END apartments in Shanghai are receiving increasing interest from buyers including those from overseas as the local housing market has been gaining momentum over the past few months.

Fifty-seven units, all two-bedroom apartments ranging from 120 square meters to 150 square meters, at Casa Lakeville, one of the most expensive apartment projects in the city, were sold in Hong Kong between last Friday and last Sunday at an average price of more than 60,000 yuan (US$8,784) per square meter, industry sources said.

The luxury residential project in Xintiandi has also sold 15 units to Shanghai buyers so far this month.

"The central government's plan to turn Shanghai into an international finance and shipping center by 2020 has helped boost investors' confidence in the city's real estate market," said Xue Jianxiong, an analyst with E-House (China) Holdings Co. "Meanwhile, comparatively low mortgage rates in Hong Kong, coupled with speculation about the likely long-term appreciation of the yuan also attracted home buyers."

Buying sentiment for high-end homes began to pick up in the city in March, industry research found.

As of Tuesday, 523 high-end homes with price tags above 30,000 yuan per square meter had changed hands this month in the city, compared with 655 units in April and 412 units in March, according to Shanghai Uwin Real Estate Information Services Co. In January and February, however, the volume was just 124 units and 123 units.

In fact, the city's major luxury residential projects have all registered growing sales since March.

As of Saturday, 521 units at Yanlord Town in Pudong had been sold at an average price of 33,688 yuan per square meter since March. Shimao Riviera Garden, also in Pudong, sold 206 units at an average price of 36,482 yuan per square meter in the same period. In Gubei, during the same period, Maison des Artistes, secured an average selling price of 39,638 yuan per square meter for 171 units, according to E-House statistics.


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