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Second-hand homes index hits record

SHANGHAI'S second-hand housing index rose to a record high last month amid increasingly strong sentiment by home buyers for high-end houses.

The monthly index, which monitors prices of existing homes in 56 areas across the city, climbed 1.18 percent, or 28 points, to 2,398 points in June, extending the rally for the fourth consecutive month.

"It's the highest since the index was launched in November 2001 at 1,000 points, but it doesn't necessarily mean that the prices also hit highs," said Chi Shengyu, an analyst at the index compiler's office. "The index does track home prices but it is mainly an indicator of market fluctuations on an average basis."

In the first half of this year, the housing index jumped 4.38 percent, signifying a rebound of the overall market. The index dropped for seven consecutive months between August 2008 and February 2009.

Second-hand homes in five downtown districts registered an average price increase of 1.84 percent last month, compared with 1.39 percent in May. Huangpu District continued to lead the others with a month-on-month increase of 2.46 percent, followed by Jing'an and Luwan, which gained 2.28 percent and 1.97 percent, respectively.

Across the city, 50 of the 56 monitored areas secured gains over the past month while four suffered setbacks and two remained unchanged.

Across the city, second-hand homes in 14 areas registered an increase of 2 percent, with those in City God Temple area of Huangpu topping all others with a monthly growth of 4.39 percent. Changshou in Putuo and Caojiadu in Jing'an took the second and the third spot, up 3.01 percent and 2.99 percent, respectively.

Some 31,300 units of used properties, mainly residential, were sold across the city in June at an average price of 12,400 yuan (US$1,815) per square meter, up 4.8 percent month-on-month and 25 percent year-on-year, according to research released by Century 21 China Real Estate, operator of the city's second-largest brokerage chain.

Separately, the local rental index, also released by the index compiler, edged up 2 points, or 0.17 percent, to 1,194 in June.

Rentals for high-end apartments and low-end homes both inched up while mid-class properties remained little changed.

Among all, rents for high-end residences in Xinhua Road and Gubei lost the most, down 1.2 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.


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