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January 10, 2017

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New home sales remain sluggish

SHANGHAI’S new home sales continued to be sluggish last week as buyers extended their wait-and-see sentiment.

The area of new homes sold, excluding government-subsidized affordable housing, plunged 46.7 percent to 93,000 square meters during the seven-day period ended on Sunday, Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Co said in a report released yesterday.

“Shanghai’s residential property market was off to a cold start with projects targeting budget-tight first-time buyers in suburban areas remaining most attractive to the majority of buyers,” said Lu Wenxi, senior manager of research at Centaline.

Lu added that the Lunar New Year holiday approaching in less than three weeks is not likely to spark “a sharp rebound in momentum among both developers and buyers.”

But the average cost of new homes rose 5.6 percent week on week to 40,508 yuan (US$5,840) per square meter.

An apartment project in Nanhui in the Pudong New Area was the most sought-after development of the week even as it sold just 96 units, a clear sign of weakness in the market.

Two of the 10 most popular projects cost above 50,000 yuan per square meter, according to Centaline data.

The supply of new homes tumbled 46.7 percent week on week to about 96,000 square meters, Centaline data showed.

Since late November, Shanghai’s toughest measures to cool its overheated housing market have strongly dented buying momentum. The city’s housing watchdog said over the weekend that it has suspended online registration for some commercial and office projects as it is cracking down on unauthorized conversion of such developments into homes. Sales of over 100 such projects have been suspended so far.


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