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Home price corrections boost deals
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Price corrections over the past few months helped boost buying momentum for properties as visitors, despite the rain, packed the Shanghai Spring Real Estate Exhibition, which opened yesterday.

The four-day event, held annually at the Shanghai Exhibition Center, has attracted more than 120 developers to market about 200 projects, mainly residential development in the city's non-prime locations as well as retail and office properties in other parts of the country.

"We've recently noticed a recovering market demand from local home buyers, especially the end-users, and we think it might be a good opportunity for us to market our brand and projects at this time," said Yu Xiaoyan, head of the sales department at Greenland Group, a leading local real estate developer. "Though it's pretty hard to predict what would happen in the coming months, we still remain confident of the long-term prospects."

Greenland is not alone as some overseas players share the same optimism.

Vincent Chiu, executive director of Singapore-based Tuan Sing Holdings Ltd, told Shanghai Daily on Wednesday that it plans to launch as soon as next month its high-end apartments at Lakeside Ville III in the city's suburban Xujing area. Its villas will sell at an average price of 20,000 yuan (US$2,928) a square meter.

"Comparatively speaking, Shanghai is supposed to be less impacted by the global financial turmoil compared to other cities in the region like Singapore or Hong Kong," Chiu said. "And homes with good design will continue to attract investors since they are usually less vulnerable to market corrections."

However, developers' confidence is anything but good news to local home buyers.

"I felt rather disappointed that no big discounts could be found in the exhibition," said a visitor, who only agreed to give his surname Gao.

Transaction volumes of both new and second-hand homes rebounded in Shanghai last month, mainly boosted by price cuts and rising demand.

(Shanghai Daily March 13, 2009)

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