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Strong sales of new homes in Shanghai

THE area of new homes sold stayed above the 300,000-square-meter threshold for the third straight week in Shanghai as strong momentum extended further.

A total of 312,400 square meters of new residential properties, excluding government-subsidized affordable housing, were sold during the seven-day period ended Sunday, a week-over-week decrease of 3.9 percent, Shanghai Deovolente Realty Co said in a report released today.

"The housing market maintained its strength for another week despite the retreat," said Lu Qilin, a Deovolente researcher. "New supply, meanwhile, also surged during the period which could be viewed as further evidence for optimism among real estate developers."

Last week, 329,300 square meters of new houses were released to the market, a week-on-week surge of 114.7 percent, according to Deovolente data.

By price, new homes sold last week cost an average 30,585 yuan (US$4,933) per square meter, up 1.2 percent from the previous week.

Citywide, half of the city's 10 best-selling projects last week cost more than 30,000 yuan per square meter, indicating robust demand in the medium- to high-end segment.

In the luxury sector, sales of new properties with a price tag of more than 50,000 yuan per square meter fell to 231 units last week, a weekly drop of 33 units.

"So far this month, the city's new home market seemed pretty good and it is very likely that May will see the figure exceed 1 million square meters," said Huang Zhijian, chief analyst at Shanghai Uwin Real Estate Information Services Co. "The central government's latest cut in interest rates will certainly be another boost to the housing market."

The People's Bank of China announced on Sunday an interest rates cut, the third of its kind in six months. Effective today, the one-year lending rate was reduced by 0.25 points to 5.10 points while the one-year benchmark deposit rate also fell by 0.25 points to 2.25 points.   


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