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Recovery in demand boosts sales of homes

A rebound in demand from end-users and investors boosted sales of homes in Shanghai last week to the highest level over the past 16 months.

A total of 323,800 square meters of new homes, excluding those built for relocation uses, were sold in the city between March 9 and March 15, an increase of 38.3 percent from a week earlier, according to statistics released yesterday by E-House (China) Holdings Ltd.

"The (sales) figure hit a nearly 70-week high and was almost equivalent to the weekly volume reached during the market heydays more than a year ago," said E-House analyst Xue Jianxiong. "The past month has witnessed an increasing demand from end-users, which mainly include newly weds and relocated residents, as well as some investors from other parts of the country."

The 4-day Spring Real Estate Exhibition, which closed on Sunday in the city, also boosted buying momentum, analysts said. The annual event drew 130,000 visitors to the Shanghai Exhibition Center, a jump of more than 70 percent compared to 2008, according to its organizer.

"The transaction volume of new houses hit 40,000 square meters and 51,000 square meters respectively in the city on Friday and Saturday, and reached 67,400 square meters on Sunday, the highest single-day volume in Shanghai since 2008," Lu Qilin, deputy head of research at Shanghai Uwin Real Estate Information Services Co, told Shanghai Daily yesterday.

While end-users emerged as the dominant force among home buyers, some investors have begun to tap the local property market which underwent a correction for nearly a year, analysts said.

At a latest serviced apartment project with existing leasing contracts, located in the Gubei area of Changning District, 42 units out of a total of 112 were sold within five days at an average price of 27,740 yuan (US$4,061) per square meter. Another 40 units in the same project have been booked by investors from Wenzhou in Zhejiang Province who have paid deposits, industry sources said.


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