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Shanghai’s existing housing market remains lackluster

SHANGHAI'S existing housing index fell for the third consecutive month in February despite a slower pace with small-ticket apartments continually dominating transactions in the market.

The monthly index, which tracks price changes across 130 areas around the city, fell 0.43 percent to 3,953 last month, the Shanghai Existing House Index Office said in a latest report. That compared to January's 0.71 percent decrease.

Citywide, 89 areas, or more than 68 percent of the total, registered month-over-month price decline, according to the office. Thirteen areas recorded monthly price increase while prices in the remaining 28 areas stayed flat.

"Only around 10,000 units of pre-occupied homes were sold in the city in February, about half of the monthly average of 20,000 units traded in most years, indicating continuously sluggish momentum," the office said. "Transaction is expected to climb in March but prices are unlikely to see a major rebound as tightening measures remain in place."

In particular, small-ticket items remained the major force that drives the market.

Pre-owned houses with a price tag of 3 million yuan (US$432,950) and below accounted for 68.7 percent of total sales last month, an increase of 3.9 percentage points from January. Those between 3 million yuan and 5 million yuan took a 21 percent share, down by 1.1 percentage point from a month earlier. Existing houses costing more than 5 million yuan each saw their share decrease by 2.8 percentage points to 10.3 percent, according to the office.

By location, one third of the pre-occupied houses sold last month are in central districts while two thirds are located in rural areas, the office said.

On the supply side, meanwhile, some 169,322 units of pre-used homes are available on the market by the end of February, up 0.2 percent from a month ago. By proximity to the city center, about 37,900 units are within the Inner Ring Road while over 43,700 units are located beyond the Outer Ring Road.


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