Shanghai People Exit Covid for House Viewings as Property Market Recovers

13/1 2023 00:00

Shanghai's real estate market is showing signs of recovery as property visits are rebounding this year after the latest peak of Covid-19 infections passed.

"I was so busy last weekend that my throat is sore because of too much talking," a sales advisor for new homes told Yicai Global.

All apartment units in Hongyinli, a project in the downtown district of Jing'an, were sold out immediately as it opened for sale yesterday despite the reasonably high average price of CNY142,000 (USD21,152) per square meter, Yicai Global learned.

Yicai Global recently saw that people were waiting in line outside a sales office of a project in Baoshan district, and it took at least 10 minutes for them to enter the building. The location is good as the project is less than one kilometer away from a subway station. 

New customers need to join a lottery to get a chance to buy as the number of visitors suddenly increased since early January, a consultant at the office told Yicai Global. "For new clients, the popular large apartments are definitely already booked." In contrast, when the project started taking reservations last month, there were only a handful of people expressing interest.

Second-hand housing sales are also improving. Workload has increased dramatically after Jan. 1, a local realtor said. Through the three-day New Year holiday, the agent was fully occupied by house viewings and deal signing.

The change of wind is good as the agency was basically half-dormant in December as the realtor's colleagues contracted Covid-19 one by one, while no clients visited the brokerage in almost half a month, the agent explained.

December was the lowest point of 2022 for Shanghai in terms of housing sales, mostly because of the sharp increase in Covid-19 cases, Yang Yulei, chief analyst at the Lianjia Research Institute, told Yicai Global.

However, the wide share of downtown apartments with high sales prices that month indicates that people's willingness and capability to improve their living conditions is not weak at all, she added.

Yang is optimistic about the performance of Shanghai's property market this year, as more supporting policies are being introduced and local residents' expectations for better income, as well as their confidence in the market, continue to improve.