Buying momentum remained sluggish in Shanghai's new housing market last week as it was not a Merry Christmas for developers.
The area of new homes sold, excluding government-subsidized affordable housing, fell 22.4 percent from a week earlier to 116,000 square meters during the seven-day period ended on Sunday, Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Co said in a report released yesterday.
"The market seemed to have entered a 'frozen' period as the year-end is approaching as no single housing development managed to register weekly sales of more than 100 units, evidence of a very lackluster sentiment among buyers," said Lu Wenxi, senior manager of research at Centaline.
But the average cost of new homes surged 22 percent week on week to 47,399 yuan (,822) per square meter, according to Centaline data.
A villa development in the city's outlying Songjiang District was the most popular in terms of area last week after 10,015 square meters, or 18 units, changed hands at an average 94,397 yuan per square meter. An apartment project in Jing'an District sold 17 units for an average 94,420 yuan per square meter. Eight other projects sold their units at no more than 50,000 yuan per square, the data showed.
Around 209,000 square meters of new houses, most costing below 40,000 yuan per square meter and targeting first-time buyers and upgraders, were released locally, a week-on-week surge of 107 percent.
Lu said developers pricing their projects at equivalent prices to their previous projects "does not seem to boost sales as a wait-and-see sentiment prevails in the market."