Land sales dived in Shanghai in the first quarter of this year on slack sentiment among real estate developers, an industry report said yesterday.
Sales of land parcels, designated for all sorts of developments, excluding public use, totaled 6.82 billion yuan (US$1.1 billion) in value between January and March, plunging 80 percent from the same period a year earlier and a drop of 79 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011, according to data released by Soufun.com, operator of the country's largest real estate website.
In volume, about 956,000 square meters of land plots were sold across the city during the first three months, a year-on-year retreat of 74 percent and declining 61 percent quarter-on-quarter, Soufun data showed.
"Land sales shrank significantly in Shanghai during the three-month period as the government maintained its property curbs, leaving developers burdened with inventory and short of cash," said Zhang Wanyu, a Soufun analyst. "Land plots released to the local market also plunged during the same period."
The city reaped 118.3 billion yuan last year from land auctions, according to earlier government data.
On the supply side, only 18 parcels were launched for sale in the city between January and March, compared with 73 plots introduced in the same period a year earlier and 82 parcels in the last quarter of 2011.
The month of March, in particular, saw very sluggish sentiment in the land market, with only three plots being sold for 1.07 billion yuan.