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Pre-owned house sales in Beijing at 23-month high

By Hu Yuanyuan  (China Daily)

08:50, January 04, 2013

Sales of pre-owned homes in Beijing reached a 23-month high in December, due to shrinking supply and some panic buying.

A total of 17,920 units were sold and registered online last month, a 24 percent increase over the previous month, according to statistics from the Beijing Municipal Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development — the highest rise recorded since the government launched measures in February 2011 to curb runaway property prices.

Local agents reported that as well as the unit numbers increasing, prices were also rising.

"We sold out a three-bedroom apartment along Beijing's North Fourth Ring Road three weeks ago, at a price of 4.9 million yuan ($786,000).

"But the selling price of a similar apartment has now increased by more than 100,000 yuan," said Yu Hui, an agent with HomeLink, a real estate brokerage firm, who said demand is outstripping supply in many areas, which is pushing up prices.

Another Beijing property company, Yahao Real Estate Selling and Consulting Solution Agency, said it had around 10 new property projects coming on stream in January, compared with more than 30 in December.

With the pick up in transactions and prices, some buyers reported they were being forced to make extra payments to get themselves further up the waiting lists to buy properties, a clear sign of a market heating up.

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