Record high for Shanghai's pre-owned homes

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The average cost of existing homes in Shanghai hit a record high last month.

Pre-owned houses sold for an average 27,500 yuan (US$4,178) per square meter, up 6.9 percent from April, Shanghai Homelink Real Estate Agency Co said in a report.

Some 19,900 units of pre-occupied houses were sold across the city last month, a rebound of 14.1 percent from April, when sales plunged more than 60 percent compared to March following measures by the local government to cool the market.

"Sales recovered in May while the average price rose to a record mainly due to a structural shift, indicating comparatively strong demand for medium to high-end homes among local buyers," said Lu Qilin, director of research at Shanghai Homelink.

Lu Wenxi, a senior research manager at Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Co, said: "The recovery in buyers' sentiment was mainly fueled by an overheated land market and, in the short run, that situation will probably remain unchanged."

Shanghai's existing housing index, which tracks monthly price changes across 130 areas in the city, climbed 1.83 percent from a month earlier to 3,626 in May, the Shanghai Existing House Index Office said in a separate report.

That was a slowdown from April's 2.08 percent gain.

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