Land plots totaling 7.01 million square meters and designated for residential use were released in the local market last year by the Shanghai Housing and Land Resources Administration Bureau.
It was the biggest amount of land to be released since 2004. The suburban districts of Baoshan and Jiading put on the market 1.11 million and 1.10 million square meters respectively while Chongming County released 1.02 million square meters. Together they contributed nearly half of the city's total land supply for house building.
The districts of Luwan, Putuo, Hongkou, Huangpu and Xuhui also set aside 54,400, 49,700, 36,800, 13,700 and 6,686 square meters of land for residential development over the past 12 months.
The city released 3.5 million, 2.12 million and 5.36 million square meters of land for housing development between 2004 and 2006, statistics showed.
The city government said last year it plans to launch more land in the future to help satisfy growing demand for housing.
The past year has witnessed amazing increases in both land and house prices due to robust demand from developers and home buyers.
For instance, land plots designated for home building in the city's northeastern New Jiangwan Town in Yangpu District jumped 60 percent in five months to record a gross floor area price of 20,000 yuan (US$2,740) per square meter.
Meanwhile, new apartments, excluding budget homes and houses designated for relocation uses, in the city have been sold at an average price of 1.28 million yuan per unit as of mid December, a rise of 11.4 percent over 2006, a major real estate research firm disclosed earlier.
In downtown areas, the price surge could be even crazier.
A unit at the Lakeville Regency, a luxury apartment development in the city's Xintiandi area, was sold at 82,200 yuan per square meter in a transaction last month.
The average sales price for the project remained at 50,400 yuan per square meter in the first quarter of 2007, a more than 60 percent jump.
(Shanghai Daily January 3, 2008)