Shanghai home prices surge, despite plunging turnover

Cao Qian
Last week's area sales sank by over 34 percent citywide, while average price jumped nearly 20 percent. Market expected to remain cautious as year-end approaches.
Cao Qian

New home buying sentiment retreated sharply in Shanghai in the first week of December, but average price soared to a year-to-date high.

The total area of new residential properties sold, excluding government-funded affordable housing, plunged 34.8 percent to around 118,000 square meters during the seven-day period ending Sunday, Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Co said in its regular weekly report, released on Monday.

Across the city, Pudong New Area advanced to first place with weekly transactions hitting 27,000 square meters. Outlying districts of Qingpu, Baoshan and Jiading, as well as the former Nanhui District, managed to record sales above 10,000 square meters.

"Despite the overall weak sentiment among home buyers, high-end and luxury developments registered quite good sales last week, therefore pushing the average price to this year's highest," said Lu Wenxi, Centaline's senior research manager. "As the year-end is approaching, we expect such 'wait-and-see' momentum to linger in the market over the coming weeks."

The average price of a new home jumped 19.9 percent from a week earlier to 63,677 yuan (US$9,036) per square meter.

Half of the 10 best-selling projects had price tags above 80,000 yuan per square meter, with three of them exceeding the 110,000 yuan per square meter barrier.

Citywide, a luxury project in Pudong outperformed all by selling 8,100 square meters, or 47 units, of new homes for an average price of 116,536 yuan per square meter. It was followed by a high-end development in the same area, which sold 7,479 square meters, or 123 apartments, for an average price of 84,368 yuan per square meter, according to Centaline data.

On the supply side, about 124,000 square meters of new houses, spanning five projects, were launched across the city, compared with some 76,000 square meters released in the previous seven-day period, Centaline data showed.

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