Shanghai suffered its worst-performing March in seven years as sentiment among new home buyers failed to rebound as quickly as expected.
The area of new residential properties sold, excluding government-funded affordable housing, totaled 489,000 square meters last month, a surge of 139.7 percent from February and a fall of 34.1 percent from same period a year ago, Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Co said in a report released today.
"The first two weeks of March both recorded seven-day transactions of below 100,000 square meters, while it was not until the last week of the month that we began to see a major rebound," said Lu Wenxi, senior manager of research at Centaline. "Hopefully, buying momentum will continue to pick up this month with more homes in the medium to high-end category being purchased amid steadily climbing market supply."
During the seven-day period through Sunday, new home sales rose 47 percent to around 170,000 square meters in Shanghai, the second-highest weekly volume registered so far this year, mainly boosted by strong sales in the outlying districts of Jiading, Qingpu and Songjiang, according to a separate Centaline report.
By price, new homes were sold at an average price of 45,634 yuan (US$7,279) per square meter in March, a month-over-month increase of 7.3 percent, according to Centaline data.
A COFCO project in Fengxian District emerged as the most sought-after development last month after unloading 33,490 square meters, or 322 apartments, at an average 36,660 yuan per square meter. That was immediately followed by a project in Minhang District, which sold 28,064 square meters, or 241 units, for an average price of 68,873 yuan per square meter.
Among the top 10 best-selling projects of March, three cost no more than 30,000 yuan per square meter, and one was listed for more than 50,000 yuan per square meter, according to Centaline data.
On the supply side, about 394,000 square meters of new homes spanning 13 projects were released to the local market last month, a surge of 310 percent from February.
"Despite the fact that most of the new supply remained in medium to low-end products in remote areas, several developments in the medium to high-end category – costing more than 50,000 yuan per square meter – also came out," Lu said. "If these projects sell well, we can probably expect a major rally of the market in April."