Pre-owned housing market breaks slump

An index tracking monthly price changes for pre-occupied houses edged higher in March. Areas in Minhang District and the Pudong New Area record most sales.

Shanghai's existing housing index rose last month for the first time in over a year as sales rebounded.

The index, which tracks month-over-month price changes in 130 areas across the city, gained 0.52 percent, or 22 points, to 3,905 in March, the Shanghai Existing Housing Index Office said in its latest report.

Citywide, about 25,930 pre-occupied homes changed hands, an increase of 167.1 percent from February and 50.1 percent from the same period a year ago, the office's data showed.

Pre-owned homes costing less than 3 million yuan (US$447,020) accounted for 66.6 percent of the total. Those worth 5 million yuan or more made up 10.5 percent.

Prices of pre-occupied homes climbed in 95 areas, fell in 16 and were flat in 19.

"A 15-month weakness of the index was finally terminated in March when transaction of pre-occupied homes jumped to the highest in 29 months," the office said. "The rebound in the existing housing market was even more notable than in the new home market, with 129 of the 130 monitored areas recording increases in transaction volume."

Pujiang in Minhang District, Sanlin and Shangnan areas, both in the Pudong New Area, were the three most sought-after areas in March, with sales of 660, 634 and 567 pre-used homes.

On the inventory side, the city had 66,532 pre-occupied homes available for sale as of the end of March, a month-on-month decrease of 0.62 percent and a year-on-year drop of 36.5 percent.

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