Weak sentiment again dominates housing market

Updated 2018-01-03 10:30:20 shine.cn

New home sales stayed above the 100,000-square-meter threshold for the third consecutive week in Shanghai, despite a minor retreat as sluggish momentum extended through the end of 2017, latest market data showed.

The area of new homes sold, excluding government-subsidized affordable housing, dipped 1 percent to 124,000 square meters during the seven-day period ending on Sunday, Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Co said in a report released yesterday.

Outlying districts continued to outperform their downtown counterparts with medium to low-end houses remaining the most sought-after properties among local buyers.

Qingpu, despite a 16.7 percent drop from the previous week, registered weekly sales of 20,000 square meters. It was closely followed by Jiading, where seven-day new home sales jumped 58.3 percent to 19,000 square meters. Baoshan, which suffered a weekly plunge of 63.3 percent, and Songjiang, which saw growth of 22.2 percent, both recorded sales of around 11,000 square meters, according to Centaline data.

The average cost of new houses rose 8.3 percent from the previous week to 52,213 yuan (,018) per square meter. Eight of the 10 most sought-after projects cost between 30,000 yuan per square meter and 50,000 yuan per square meter.

"Weekly sales of new homes barely managed to stay above 120,000 square meters while the most popular project sold less than 50 units, evidence that weak sentiment continued to dominate the market which often records a major rebound at the end of a month," said Lu Wenxi, senior manager of research at Shanghai Centaline. "The slack momentum will probably extend further as the beginning of a year is usually a low season for property sales."

A housing project in Chongming District became the best-selling development after selling 5,502 square meters, or 49 units, for an average 36,295 yuan per square meter.

It was trailed by a Shui On Land project in central Hongkou District which sold 3,358 square meters, or 15 apartments, for an average price of 103,457 yuan per square meter.

Monthly sales

The monthly statistics show new home buying sentiment recovered in Shanghai for the second straight month in December with average cost rising again amid stable performance in the medium-end housing segment.

Around 467,000 square meters of new homes, excluding government-funded affordable housing, were sold across the city in December, a month-over-month increase of 24.9 percent, Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Co said in a report released yesterday. On an annual term, that represented a drop of 28 percent. The average price of the new homes rose 1.3 percent from November to 49,648 yuan (,624) per square meter, a historic high in the city.

"Out of the 10 most popular projects, eight cost between 30,000 yuan per square meter and 60,000 yuan per square meter, suggesting continuing strong demand from first-time upgraders," said Lu Wenxi, senior manager of research at Shanghai Centaline. "That was also true on the supply side as a majority of the new homes launched last month cost between 30,000 yuan per square meter and 50,000 yuan per square meter."

Some 226,000 square meters of new houses were released for sale locally last month, up 343 percent from November, according to Centaline data.

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