By Cherry Cao | 2013-1-14 | ONLINE EDITION
UNABATED demand from end-users continued to boost Shanghai's housing market last week with average home price dropping slightly amid robust sales of mid- to low-end products.
Sales of new homes, excluding government-funded affordable housing, jumped 17.3 percent week on week to 264,200 square meters. Average price, meanwhile, fell 3.3 percent to 20,677 yuan (US$3,282) per square meter, Shanghai Deovolente Realty Co said.
"Buying sentiment appeared strong in the first 13 days of this year with sales totaling 431,900 square meters, more than triple that of a year earlier and the highest in five years," said Lu Qilin, a Deovolente researcher. "This month may see a record sales volume since 2011 if the good momentum continues."
Residential projects in outlying areas remained the most popular last week. A development in Jinshan District -- costing 9,527 yuan per square meter on average -- took the No.1 position with more than 200 units being sold.
Among the city's ten best-selling projects last week, six were priced below 20,000 yuan per square meter and the most expensive one cost less than 29,000 yuan per square meter, Deovolente data showed.
In terms of supply, about 159,000 square meters of new homes were released across the city last week, compared with 28,900 square meters the week before.
"Despite a significant week-on-week rebound, new home supply in Shanghai remained low last month," said Huang Zhijian, chief analyst with Shanghai Uwin Real Estate Information Services Co. "However, we expect it to pick up in the coming weeks as long as the tightening policies remain in place and budget-tight first-time buyers continue to be the main driving force of the market."
A weekly average of 143,500 square meters of new residential properties were released to the local market in the past four weeks, down 17.3 percent from the weekly average registered over the past 12 months, according to Uwin data.