Shanghai home sales falter in latest week

Cao Qian
Turnover by area was down 11.6 percent during the first week of September, while the average price rose 21 percent as buyers turned toward higher-end properties.
Cao Qian

Home-buying momentum eased in Shanghai during the first week of September but average price rebounded notably amid a structural shift toward medium to high-end properties.

The total area of new residential properties sold, excluding government-subsidized affordable housing, fell 11.6 percent week over week to 247,000 square meters during the seven-day period ending Sunday, Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Co said in a regular report issued on Monday.

Citywide, the Pudong New Area outperformed all with weekly sales of 34,000 square meters. It was immediately followed by Nanhui area, formerly a district and now part of Pudong, and Qingpu District, which both registered sales of around 30,000 square meters, according to Centaline data.

"Despite the retreat, overall momentum among buyers still remained strong as weekly transaction continued to stay above the 200,000-square-meter mark for three weeks in a row," said Lu Wenxi, Centaline's senior researcher. "Besides, 11 districts/regions posted weekly transactions of more than 10,000 square meters, indicating generally robust sentiment all around the city."

The average new home price, meanwhile, rose 21 percent week over week to 64,388 yuan (US$9,408) per square meter, after a batch of luxury projects made their way onto the top 10 list.

A development in Nanhui area dwarfed all after unloading 13,805 square meters of new homes, or 156 apartments, for an average price of 30,923 yuan per square meter. It was closely trailed by a project in Pudong which sold 13,629 square meters, or 79 units, at an average cost of 76,769 yuan per square meter.

Only four of the top 10 projects bore price tags of less than 50,000 yuan per square meter. The remaining six all cost above 66,000 yuan per square meter, with two of them exceeding the 100,000-yuan-per-square-meter level.

On the supply side, only some 55,000 square meters of new residential properties spanning two projects were released into the local market, a week-over-week plunge of 82.1 percent, according to Centaline data.

"It was a significant contraction but abundant supply rolled out earlier should be enough to cushion sales for a while," Lu said. "We still remain upbeat about September's performance." 

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