Residential market softens during Qingming festival week

Shanghai home sales contract at start of April as holiday sidelines buyers, industry figures show. Pudong and outlying areas continue to record strong turnover.

New home buying sentiment contracted in Shanghai during the first week of April partly due to the three-day Qingming holiday, the latest market figures show.

By area, new residential properties sales, excluding government-subsidized affordable housing, fell 32.6 percent to around 168,000 square meters during the seven-day period ending Sunday, Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Co announced in a report released on Monday.

"Last week's withdrawal was unsurprising as sales figures usually jump at the month end as developers gear up to boost performances, while the Qingming break also left some buyers on the sideline," said Lu Wenxi, Centaline's senior research manager. "However, we expect the momentum to continue to pick up over the next couple of weeks with outlying districts remaining popular among buyers."

Pudong New Area and Fengxian and Qingpu districts registered robust sales last week, selling some 24,000 square meters, 22,000 square meters and 17,000 square meters of new homes, respectively. Notably, Xuhui District managed to unload more than 10,000 square meters of new houses, a figure considered quite high for a downtown area.

Citywide, new homes sold for an average of 56,554 yuan (US$8,412) per square meter, representing a week-on-week increase of 2 percent.

In the top 10 in terms of transaction area, three projects cost between 80,000 yuan and 100,000 yuan per square meter. Six commanded less than 60,000 yuan per square meter, including one asking for less than 21,000 yuan per square meter.

A COFCO project in Fengxian emerged as the most sought-after development after selling 12,047 square meters, or 126 units, of new homes for an average price of 35,067 yuan per square meter. It was followed by a luxury residential project in Xuhui, which unloaded 7,138 square meters, or 21 units, for an average of 94,846 yuan per square meter.

On the supply side, a total of 108,000 square meters of new housing hit the market last week, representing a week-over-week dive of 39.5 percent, according to Centaline data.

Over the Qingming holiday specifically, three-day sales totaled around 52,000 square meters, a considerable increase from the some 20,000 square meters sold in Shanghai during the same period last year.


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