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New home sales plummet to nine-week low in Shanghai

NEW home sales plunged to the lowest in nine weeks as cautious sentiment continued to hang over among home seekers despite adequate supply, latest market data showed.

The purchases of new residential properties, excluding government-subsidized affordable housing, dropped 34.8 percent to 119,800 square meters during the seven-day period ended Sunday, Shanghai Deovolente Realty Co said in a report released today.

"Though August is usually a slack season for property sales because of the hot weather, the weekly volume of below 120,000 square meters still seemed a bit rare," said Lu Qilin, a Deovolente researcher. "While overall transaction remained subdued, the comparatively better performance in the luxury segment helped drive up average price."

Average cost of a new home climbed 4.4 percent week-on-week to 27,685 yuan (US$4,465) per square meter, Deovolente data showed.

Notably among all, Tomson Riviera in the heart of Lujiazui, Pudong New Area, the city's most costly apartment project, sold one unit last week at an average price of 147,000 yuan per square meter, fetching totally 64 million yuan. It was the second apartment sold at the development so far this year, according to Deovolente.

On the supply side, new houses totaling 180,000 square meters, majority of which located in outlying areas of the city, were released to the local market last week, a rise of 3.8 percent from the previous week.

In the first ten days of August, new home transaction only stood at a low of 181,800 square meters. That compared to some 700,000 square meters of sales registered in July.


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