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New home sales dive as festival approaches

    New home purchases fell notably in Shanghai last week as the weeklong Spring Festival holiday is just around the corner.

    The area of new homes sold, excluding government-subsidized affordable housing, plunged 37.5 percent from the previous seven-day period to 127,000 square meters, Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants Co said in a report released yesterday.

    The remote Chongming District emerged as the best performer with transactions almost tripling amid abundant supply. Around 37,000 square meters of new homes were sold in the island district, a week-over-week surge of 184.6 percent. It was most closely trailed by Nanhui in Pudong New Area where new home sales hit 18,000 square meters.

    The average cost of new homes added 2.9 percent from the previous week to 40,322 yuan (US$6,383) per square meter, according to Centaline data.

    “The clock is ticking down as the lunar new year holiday is falling in less than two weeks,” said Lu Wenxi, senior manager of research at Centaline. “Sentiment among both buyers and real estate developers will continue to cool probably through the end of this month.”

    A newly launched residential development in Chongming’s Changxing Island released 299 apartments, or 30,291 square meters of new homes in total, during the seven-day period ended Sunday.

    A unit in the most sought-after project of the week costs about 27,562 yuan per square meter.