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Shanghai’s housing market remains lackluster last week

BUYING momentum among home seekers remained slack in Shanghai for another week despite insignificant recovery as tightening measures to cool overheated market continued to bite.

The area of new residential properties sold, excluding government-subsidized affordable housing, rose 2.1 percent to 148,000 square meters last week, Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Co said in a report released today.

"As of Sunday, only about 487,000 square meters of new homes were sold across the city, which means the entire monthly sales should probably hover around 700,000 square meters at most, a low volume for April," said Lu Wenxi, senior manager of research at Centaline. "With policy relaxation unlikely to happen, we expect the local housing market to remain subdued."

By district, Pudong New Area led all with 28,000 square meters of new houses being sold during the seven-day period, a week-over-week surge of 115.4 percent. The outlying Jiading District closely trailed with weekly sales soaring 107.7 percent to 27,000 square meters, according to Centaline data.

The average cost of new homes jumped 9.2 percent to 46,540 yuan (US$6,758) per square meter, a result of structural shift amid comparatively strong demand from home upgraders.

A residential development in Pudong recorded sales of 127 units last week at an average price of 55,381 yuan per square meter, making it the most popular housing project around the city. Besides, two other projects in remote districts of Songjiang and Baoshan, each bearing a price of more than 50,000 yuan per square meter, also managed to squeeze into the top 10 list.

On the supply side, seven residential projects totaling 201,000 square meters were released to the local market last week, a notable increase from less than 170,000 square meters launched during the previous seven-day period, Centaline data showed.

"It was the second-highest seven-day supply recorded so far this year with six of the seven projects launching over 300 units each," Lu said. "Starting this month, new home supply has been outnumbering sales for three straight weeks and if this trend continues, a price cut of between 3 and 4 percent by developers should be expected soon."


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