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Used-home average price posts slight rise

THE average price of second-hand homes rose slightly in Shanghai last month as more buyers sought to upgrade their accommodations.

Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Ltd, which operates the city's largest brokerage chain with 150 outlets, said yesterday that the price of used homes climbed 3.1 percent to 16,144 yuan (US$2,363) per square meter on average in May.

Homes costing between 800,000 yuan and 1.2 million yuan accounted for 28 percent of total deals secured by Centaline last month, and those priced between 1.2 million yuan and 2 million yuan accounted for 27 percent, according to the company's statistics.

"The demand for low-end apartments, mainly referring to privatized public homes, started to taper off over the past month while more people began to look for newer and larger apartments," said Ma Ji, head of research at Shanghai Centaline. "Moreover, an inadequate supply of second-hand homes also contributed to the price rise."

Centaline statistics showed that listings of used apartments in Zhabei, Baoshan, Putuo, Changning and Jing'an districts as well as Pudong New Area fell between 20 percent and 30 percent in May, while home prices climbed between 10 percent and 20 percent.

Century 21 China Real Estate, operator of the city's second-largest brokerage chain, also noticed the same trend in its latest research.

Transactions in used apartments priced below 800,000 yuan fell to 21 percent of the total deals sealed at Century 21 in May, a month-on-month drop of 5 percentage points.

However, transactions of homes costing between 1.2 million yuan and 2 million yuan rose 31 percent last month, and those from 2 million yuan to 3 million yuan grew 15 percent.

"We expect to see more deals of homes costing between 1.2 million yuan and 3 million yuan per unit, to be completed in the rest of the year," said Huang Hetao, a researcher at Century 21. "The local market will remain stable with people seeking to upgrade as a major buying force."


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