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Demand from buyers fuels rise in home sales

By Cherry Cao (Shanghai Daily)

08:34, August 28, 2012

ROBUST sales of mid to low-end properties lifted new home transactions to exceed 200,000 square meters again in Shanghai last week, while the average price fell.

The purchases of new homes, excluding government-subsidized affordable housing, jumped 31.4 percent from a week earlier to 200,200 square meters during the seven-day period ended on Sunday, extending the rally for the second straight week, Shanghai Deovolente Realty Co said yesterday.

"Demand from end-users, particularly budget-tight first-time buyers, shored up the surge last week," said Lu Qilin, a Deovolente researcher. "Seven of the city's 10 best-selling projects cost less than 20,000 yuan (US$3,154) a square meter."

The average cost of the new homes fell 13.1 percent weekly to 20,927 yuan per square meter, or below 23,000 yuan a square meter for the first time in 11 weeks, Deovolente said.

The city saw 27 luxury units, each costing 50,000 yuan per square meter and above, sold last week, a drop of five from the week earlier.

Meanwhile, the supply of new homes in the local market surged 60.8 percent weekly to 305,000 square meters.

"The weekly supply of more than 300,000 square meters, the third time recorded so far this year, could be viewed as a signal that most real estate developers seemed to be rather bullish on sales in September, which is a traditional high season for home purchases," said Huang Hetao, a research manager with Century 21 China Real Estate.

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