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Used-home sector may face short supply

SHANGHAI'S second-hand housing market may likely face a short supply soon after sales of used apartments soared over the past two months, industry analysts said.

By yesterday, inventories of used homes (excluding those built for relocation uses) in the city stood at a little above 46,000 units, according to the city's official real estate Website,

"It is likely that home buyers seeking used apartments will find fewer choice over the coming months as inventories of second-hand houses have been reduced very quickly during the past two months due to the boom in sales," Shao Minghao, head of research at Shanghai Hanyu Property Consulting Co Ltd, told Shanghai Daily yesterday in a phone interview. "The supply in some areas, for instance, Pudong New Area - particularly Gaohang; and Nanhui District, will probably become inadequate."

By the end of last month, stocks of used homes fell 37 percent in Pudong New Area and 33 percent in Nanhui from the end of February.

According to the latest statistics released by several major industry research bodies, a record 25,700 units of second-hand homes were sold last month in the city, the highest since 2006. In particular, Pudong, Minhang District and Baoshan District led in terms of transaction volume, with around 380,000, 310,000 and 180,000 square meters of used houses sold, respectively.

In February, a total of 15,000 units of used houses changed hands across the city.

However, in terms of supply, industry observers said that about 5,000 units of used houses had been added monthly on average in the city over the past two years. Usually, supply is regarded as adequate if it can support six months of sales, they said.

A second-hand real estate fair, which ended on Sunday in the city, attracted nearly 70,000 visitors, a jump of 20 percent from the same event held a year earlier. More than 1,650 units of homes found tentative buyers during the three-day fair, up 30 percent from a year ago, said the event organizer.


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