City housing market extends sluggish streak

Cao Qian
New residential property sales in Shanghai were down more than 23 percent last week, marking a second straight week of decline.
Cao Qian

Weakness extended in Shanghai's new housing market for another week, with medium- to high-end properties remaining popular among buyers.

The total area of new residential properties sold, excluding government-funded affordable housing, fell 23.3 percent week over week to 189,000 square meters during the seven-day period ending Sunday, Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Co said in a regular report issued on Monday.

Citywide, suburban Qingpu District led all with weekly sales of around 42,000 square meters. It was most closely trailed by the Nanhui area, formerly a district and now part of Pudong New Area, which unloaded some 20,000 square meters of new residential properties, according to Centaline data.

"For two weeks in a row, the city's new home sales market suffered moderate retreats after very robust performance in August," said Lu Wenxi, Centaline's senior researcher. "However, overall momentum among buyers still stays above average levels, while a fast recovery in new supply may herald a rebound in sales very soon."

Meanwhile, some 134,000 square meters of new residential properties spanning seven projects were released into the local market, a week-over-week surge of 141.8 percent, according to Centaline data.

The average new home price dipped 5 percent week over week to 61,160 yuan (US$8,935) per square meter, with the majority of projects on the top 10 list costing more than 60,000 yuan per square meter.

A development in Qingpu District sold 24,082 square meters, or 156 apartments, for an average price of 62,030 yuan per square meter, dwarfing all counterparts during the period. It was trailed by a project in Nanhui which unloaded 7,292 square meters, or 78 units, at an average cost of 22,375 yuan per square meter, making it the cheapest development on the list.

Three of the top 10 projects bore price tags of over 100,000 yuan per square meter, with the most expensive selling for 165,280 yuan per square meter.

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