Sales of pre-owned houses more than doubled in Shanghai in March amid a bullish buying mood, which also lifted prices.
Sales of pre-owned homes jumped 112.2 percent from February to around 57,000 units last month, Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Ltd said in a report yesterday. The increase marked an even notable surge of 170.8 percent year on year.
"That was the second-highest monthly transaction volume (of pre-owned homes) registered in the city," said Lu Wenxi, a senior manager of research at Shanghai Centaline.
March is a traditional month when the pace of buying usually recovers, Lu said, adding that speculation that the government would unveil tightening policies also sparked panic buying among home seekers.
These pre-owned houses were sold for an average 26,622 yuan (US$4,114) per square meter, a month-on-month gain of 2 percent, Centaline data showed.
Shanghai's existing housing index, which monitors monthly price changes across 130 areas in the city, jumped 3.44 percent from February to 3,484 in March, the Shanghai Existing House Index Office said in a report released yesterday.
The prices of pre-owned houses rose in 116 areas, fell in seven areas, and stayed flat in the remaining seven areas.
"The latest batch of tightening measures, which mainly include increased down payment requirement for second homes and raised threshold for non-local buyers to purchase a house, will begin to take effect gradually from the second quarter," the office said.
"The city's existing home market will then stabilize, and it is highly likely that prices may go southward."
As of March 31, a total of 132,248 units of pre-owned homes are available for sale across the city, a monthly rise of 7.5 percent, the office said.