New home sentiment improves among buyers, developers

Sales of new homes stayed above the 100,000-square-meter threshold for the second week in Shanghai, the latest market data showed.

Sales of new homes stayed above the 100,000-square-meter threshold for the second week in Shanghai amid continuously improving sentiment among both home seekers and real estate developers, the latest market data showed.

The area of new residential properties sold, excluding government-subsidized affordable housing, rose 2.9 percent to around 125,000 square meters during the seven days to Sunday, Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Co said in a report released on Monday.

"Across the city, several outlying districts including Jiading, Songjiang and Qingpu were very popular among buyers," Lu Wenxi, Centaline's senior research manager said. "Notably, the majority of top 10 best-selling projects fell into the medium to low-end segment."

Citywide, new homes sold for an average price of 54,241 yuan (US$8,086) per square meter, a week-over-week decrease of 6.2 percent, according to Centaline data.

In the top 10 list, eight cost less than 60,000 yuan per square meter on average, including five asking for no more than 40,000 yuan per square meter.

However, outperforming all was a residential development in downtown Huangpu District which sold 4,821 square meters, or 32 units, for an average price of 130,366 yuan per square meter. It was most closely followed by a project in remote Jinshan, where 4,446 square meters, or 47 units, of new homes were unloaded for just 24,231 yuan per square meter on average, according to Centaline data.

On the supply side, five projects, most of them medium to low-end properties, were released onto the market last week, adding a total of about 131,000 square meters of new homes into the city's inventory, a week-over-week increase of 25.9 percent. Of them, two projects launched more than 50,000 square meters each in one single batch, further evidence for increasing momentum among real estate developers.

For February, new home sales in Shanghai dived 42 percent from a month earlier to around 306,000 square meters, mainly affected by the Spring Festival holiday. Year on year, it represented growth of 50 percent, according to Centaline data.

On the developers' side, some 268,000 square meters of new residential properties were launched onto the local market last month, a drop of 23.9 percent from January but a year-on-year surge of 179.2 percent.

The average cost of a new home stood at 59,244 yuan per square meter, a rise of 3.9 percent from January, Centaline data showed.

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