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New home sales rose in Shanghai on basic demand for housing

SEVEN-DAY sales of new homes rose for the third straight week in Shanghai amid robust buying momentum in the medium- to low-end segment, latest market data suggest.

The area of new residential properties sold, excluding government-subsidized affordable housing, jumped 34.1 percent to 125,000 square meters last week, Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Co said in a report released today.

These new homes sold for an average 43,048 yuan (US$6,240) per square meter, a fall of 12 percent from the previous week, mainly a result of structural shift.

Nanhui in Pudong New Area and Songjiang District, home to half of the 10 best-selling projects, both registered weekly transaction of more than 20,000 square meters, Centaline data showed.

"Despite their remote locales, the average sales price of new residential properties in Nanhui and Songjiang already exceeded 37,000 yuan per square meter last week, indicating that more developments catering for the needs of upgrading buyers, such as spacious townhouses, are now being built in outlying areas which used to target budget-tight first-time home seekers only," said Lu Wenxi, senior manager of research at Centaline. "On the other side, the increase in average price was also evidence that more decorated apartments, rather than bare-shell units, are delivered by real estate developers under government requirement."

Citywide, a residential project in outlying Fengxian District, which unloaded 113 units last week for an average 20,045 yuan per square meter, was the most popular development. Only two projects with an asking price of 50,000 yuan per square meter and above managed to squeeze into the top 10 list, a pretty rare scene in about two months.

On the supply side, only about 39,000 square meters of new houses were released locally, a week-over-week plunge of 67 percent, Centaline data showed.

"Developers usually gear up around the end of February for the first major rebound in a year after the Spring Festival holiday," Lu said. "Last week's supply drop reflected developers' lack of confidence this year as tightening measures to curb price growth will remain strictly implemented."


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