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January 4, 2017

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Rein-in moves curb lift in new home sales

NEW home sales edged up in Shanghai during the last month of 2016 as the most stringent rein-in measures continued to curb buying sentiment.

The area of new homes sold, excluding government-subsidized affordable housing, rose 7.6 percent from a month earlier to 649,000 square meters in December, Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Co said in a report released yesterday.

Year on year, the figure was a plunge of 65.6 percent from 2015.

“Transactions almost froze immediately in the city following tightening measures implemented at the end of November to cool the overheated market, dragging December volume to the lowest for the same period in five years,” said Lu Wenxi, senior manager of research at Centaline.

“At least 70 percent of the buyers in the local market are seeking to upgrade their houses and the latest policies have prevented many of them from entering the market,” Lu added.

Shanghai unveiled tightening measures on November 28 in its latest bid to cool the city’s red hot housing market, which include a minimum 35 percent down payment for first-time home buyers as well as a revised definition of first- and second-time buyers.

Only those who do not own any home in the city and have never applied for any mortgages from either commercial banks or public housing funds anywhere in the country can be considered first-time buyers, and all the others are subject to a minimum down payment of either 50 percent or 70 percent.


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