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May 20, 2012

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Car plate record price for 5th consecutive month

STRONG demand drove car plate prices in Shanghai to a record high for the fifth consecutive month, despite an increase in the quota for yesterday's auction.

The average price for a car plate was 64,367 yuan (US$10,182) - up 2,741 yuan on April, said auction organizer Shanghai Commodity International Co.

The lowest successful bid increased 3,000 yuan to 64,000 yuan, while the total number of bidders was 24,230, up 1,524 from a month earlier.

This is the fifth consecutive month that the car plate price in Shanghai has set a new high. The average price has increased about 10,000 yuan this year.

The local government offered 9,300 plates for auction this month - the most this year and up 800 on last month's quota. But market observers said that hadn't altered car buyers' expectations of continuing price increases.

"After the price of a car plate passed the 60,000-yuan psychological benchmark in April, would-be buyers who in the past had taken a wait-and-see approach decided to go ahead with their bids before it gets even higher," a car dealer surnamed Ji said.

A netizen, nicknamed "Forever Lanlan" said on Weibo microblog that as the most expensive piece of iron in the world, Shanghai's car license plate is probably a good investment. Secondhand plates were priced at 67,000 yuan before the weekend.

Sun Jianping, director of Shanghai Transport and Port Bureau, said earlier this month that the city government does not want to see license plate prices soaring, but will continue to ease traffic congestion by limiting private car ownership.


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