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August 19, 2012

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License plate prices rise above 60,000 yuan again

SHANGHAI'S car plate prices surpassed the 60,000 yuan (US$9,438) benchmark again in August even though the number of bidders was the lowest this year.

The average price for a car plate climbed to 62,559 yuan, 4,288 yuan more than in July, said Shanghai Commodity International Co, which organized yesterday's auction.

The lowest successful bid rose to 62,100 yuan, up 4,400 yuan on a monthly basis. The city auctioned 9,500 car plates available this month, the same as July and June.

Only 21,425 people participated in the auction this time, representing a 19.2 percent decrease from last month.

The number of bidders soared in July after the traffic authority extended the required holding period of a car plate before resale from one to three years in an effort to push scalpers looking for quick money out of the game.

"The new rule has definitely been effective in curbing speculative bidding. But clearly, it has also triggered divided opinions about the market direction among buyers," said a car dealer surnamed Li.

After rising for seven straight months, Shanghai's car plate prices dropped in June following the announcement of the longer lock-up period of new car plates.

But a moderate price rebound in July, which Li said was more of a market consolidation, might have led some would-be buyers to think car plate prices are back on an upward track considering the strong demand reflected in the record number of bidders.

"I think these people were the ones who drove the price up this month," he said. "They tended to overbid."


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