Existing home prices fall again

The average cost of a pre-owned home in Shanghai dropped further in August, as monthly transactions also sank below 20,000 units.

Shanghai's existing housing index fell for a second month in August as sentiment among buyers continued to retreat.

The index, which monitors month-on-month price changes in 130 areas across the city, dipped 0.13 percent, or 4 points, to 3,922 points, the Shanghai Existing Housing Index Office said in its regular monthly report released on Wednesday.

Citywide, about 19,720 pre-occupied homes changed hands, down 2.1 percent from July. On a year-on-year basis, however, turnover rose 47.3 percent.

Pre-owned homes costing less than 3 million yuan (US$420,633) accounted for 65.4 percent of total transactions. Those worth 5 million yuan or more made up 12.3 percent.

Prices of pre-occupied homes rose in 54 areas, fell in 53 and were flat in 23.

"Transactions of pre-used homes fell for five consecutive months since April and have finally dropped below the 20,000-unit barrier," the office said. "Generally speaking, the market was plagued by rather weak momentum as moderate decreases were found in both sale price and volume."

By area, Lingang in the Pudong New Area, Pujiang in Minhang District and Sanlin in Pudong were the three most popular areas among home seekers, with sales of 540, 492 and 470 homes respectively.

On the inventory side, a total of 63,961 pre-occupied homes were available on the market as of the end of August, a month-on-month decrease of 2.3 percent and a year-on-year drop of 19.2 percent, according to the office.

Between January and August, a total of 162,000 pre-occupied homes were sold across the city, an increase of 50 percent from same period a year ago. Average cost of these homes stood at 3.02 million yuan per unit, a year-on-year dip of 6 percent, according to an earlier released report by Shanghai Homelink Real Estate Agency Co.

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