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October 21, 2012

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Demand keeps plate prices high

SHANGHAI'S car plate prices remained high at this month's auction, with demand rising following the cooling of speculation under tighter regulation.

The average price for a Shanghai car plate hit a new high of 66,708 yuan (US$2,671) yesterday, which was 283 yuan up from September, Shanghai Commodity International Auction Co said.

With 9,500 car plates available for sales this month, the same as the past four months, the number of bidders increased 4.2 percent to 19,921 while the lowest successful bid dropped 500 yuan from its record high to 65,200 yuan.

Eddie Zhang, a second-hand car dealer in Shanghai, said the mixed price trends at the auction show the market is entering a consolidation stage as new rules for car plate resale is pushing scalpers out of the game and attracting more ordinary bidders.

Fewer scalpers

Since July, the minimum holding period for Shanghai car plates has been extended from one to three years as part of the measures by the government to curb speculative bidding.

With fewer scalpers around, there is a better chance to get a fair price, but not necessarily a lower one, as Zhang noted.

"Bidding for Shanghai car plates can get quite intense, because of the huge pent-up demand to be unleashed," Zhang said,

Would-be buyers who were hesitant to bid in the past tend to be more decisive now in a better regulated market.

To monitor car plate transactions more efficiently, the traffic authority is mulling over a plan to build a plate management pool covering both new and second-hand vehicles.

The average price of the Shanghai car plate has surged nearly 25 percent since January. Questions have been asked whether demand will ever cool down after years of sales boom.

Given the current robust demand, the chances of that happening might be slim in the short term, no matter what regulatory measures are introduced.


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