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August 5, 2009

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Mixed fortunes for Shanghai properties

While fewer purchase deals were seen in Shanghai's existing home market over the past month due to rising prices, the leasing sector, however, started to rebound, fueled primarily by demand for mid to low-end homes.

The more than 100 branches of Century 21 China Real Estate saw a 28-percent jump in leasing activities, with apartments along Metro lines becoming highly sought after, the city's second-largest brokerage chain said yesterday.

"Several areas, including Zhengru in Putuo, Shangda in Baoshan and Sanlin in Pudong, saw leasing contracts doubled in July from a month earlier," said Huang Hetao, a researcher at Century 21. "Improved access due to an extended Metro network and more affordable rents helped propel demand in these suburban areas."

Rents, meanwhile, were stable in high-end apartments in downtown areas and mid to low-end properties in remote areas, according to the company's research.

But the local sales market had a different story. The transaction volume of existing homes began to decline last month as a result of increasing prices and shrinking supplies.

Research released yesterday by Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Ltd, the city's largest brokerage chain, disclosed that sales of existing homes tumbled 22 percent last month while average prices increased 5.5 percent to 17,764 yuan (US$2,600) per square meter last month.


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