Home prices edge up

Shanghai's existing housing index climbed for the third straight month in May.

Shanghai's existing housing index climbed for the third straight month in May despite a retreat in buyer sentiment.

The index, which tracks month-on-month price changes in 130 areas across the city, edged up 0.22 percent, or 10 points, to 3,926 points last month, the Shanghai Existing Housing Index Office said in its regular monthly report released on Thursday.

Citywide, about 25,320 pre-occupied homes changed hands, a decrease of 9.2 percent from April. On a year-on-year basis, the figure jumped 45.2 percent.

Pre-owned homes costing less than 3 million yuan (US$433,000) accounted for 63.7 percent of the total. Those worth 5 million yuan or more made up nearly 12.7 percent.

Prices of pre-occupied homes rose in 77 areas, fell in 31 and were flat in 22.

"Despite a retreat in transaction volume, sales of existing houses still stayed well above the 20,000-unit barrier, the average monthly level recorded in regularly performing years," the office said. "In terms of prices, they went up for the third month but at a slower rate with those in downtown areas registering the most notable growth compared with their outyling counterparts."

By area, Pujiang in Minhang District, Sanlin in Pudong New Area and Nanqiao New City in Fengxian District were the three most sought-after communities in May, with sales of 617, 567 and 499 homes.

On the supply side, the local inventory of pre-occupied homes fell for the 23rd straight month. As of the end of May, the city had 65,822 pre-occupied homes available on the market, a month-on-month decrease of 0.62 percent and a year-on-year drop of 24.2 percent, according to the office.

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