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Second-hand home market optimistic

MAJOR real estate brokerage firms remain upbeat about the city's second-hand home market and expect the current sales boom to extend for another few months with continuous robust demand.

"Frankly speaking, the market performance over the past month was beyond our expectations and demand for homes will probably continue to be strong through the end of this quarter," Flora Wang, director of research at Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Ltd, told Shanghai Daily today at an annual real estate fair which opened today at the East Asia Exhibition Center. "The second half is a bit hard to predict now because that will depend highly on the country's macroeconomic condition."

Centaline, the city's largest realty chain which completed transactions for around 2,000 units of used homes across the city last month, has brought about 2,600 units of second-hand houses to the fair, compared to some 2,400 units introduced last year, the company said.

The city's major real estate brokerage firms, including Centaline, Hanyu Property, E-house, Hope Real Properties, Sinyi Realty Estate and many others, have brought their selected apartments - most priced below 2 million yuan (US$290,000) a unit, to the three-day fair, mainly targeting wage earners who wish to buy homes for their own use, according to the Real Estate Times, one of the event's organizers.

"The second-hand home market has been recently dominated by end-users," said Chen Yong, a property consultant at a Sinyi branch in southwestern Changning District. "In my personal case, four out of 10 clients over the past month were couples seeking houses."

Price corrections helped push the city's second-hand transaction volume to a record 25,700 units last month, the highest since 2006. In particular, Pudong New Area, Minghang District and Baoshan District led others in terms of transaction volume, with around 380,000, 310,000 and 180,000 square meters' in used houses being sold, respectively, according to Century 21 China Real Estate research.

Unlike a year ago when most people chose to take a wait-and-see attitude, more seem ready for a deal now.

"It is true that homes have become more affordable compared to a year ago," said Raymond Chen, a 30-something salesman who works for a multinational company in Zhangjiang High-tech Park in Pudong. "I will seriously consider buying one if high-quality properties are available."


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