Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Villa Sold For US$30m

Source : The Straits Times, March 18, 2009

SHANGHAI - A SHANGHAI villa has sold for 205 million yuan, or US$30 million (S$45.9 million), in the most costly residential real estate deal yet for mainland China, the property's developer said on Wednesday.

Shimao said the 205 million yuan deal was the costliest so far for a mainland Chinese residential unit. --PHOTO: Shanghai Shimao Sheshan Villas

But despite the stunning size of the transaction, the outlook for the market remains murky, those working in the industry say.

Shimao Property Holdings would not disclose any details about the identity of the buyer of the fully furnished, 4,000 square metre villa in its Shanghai Shimao Sheshan Villas development.

Jing Furong, a staffer in Shimao's investor relations department, confirmed the deal but would not comment on a report on Wednesday in the Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post saying the buyer was not a mainland Chinese passport holder.

Another villa at Shimao Sheshan, a scenic area in Shanghai's western suburbs, sold for 155 million yuan, the company said.

Shanghai Shimao's shares jumped by the daily 10 per cent limit on Wednesday following the news to 10.38 yuan.

Shimao said the 205 million yuan deal was the costliest so far for a mainland Chinese residential unit. But at 51,000 yuan, or US$7,500, per square metre, it was less expensive than homes in downtown Shanghai's Tomson Riviera, a luxury complex where a smaller, but still spacious, apartment sold earlier for 130,000 yuan, or more than US$19,000, per square meter.

Although the villa's price is astronomical by Chinese standards, it's way below the most expensive in the world. The most expensive market, according to Global Property Guide's 2009 list, is Monte Carlo, averaging US$45,000 per square meter.

Prices for prime properties in Shanghai, Beijing and several other big Chinese cities are beyond the reach of most Chinese families, though. And despite a recent uptick in transactions in some cities, many in the industry are forecasting bleaker months ahead. -- AP

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