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Shanghai real estate market to rebound
(Shanghai Daily)
Updated: 2006-04-07 14:01

Early signs from investors and property owners suggest that Shanghai's real estate market will be more active this year than last - and may be big one of the biggest years on record, a report by Jones Lang LaSalle predicted yesterday.

Five grade-A office buildings are due to open their doors this year, with two already completed in the first quarter: Platinum (Xinmao) Tower and Grand Gateway II. Space is leasing quickly in both buildings, and tenants are completing interior renovations and taking occupancy in the second quarter, the report said.

Vacancy rates will be relatively low this year, and rental rates will jump by double digits as the result of strong leasing demand from multinationals and growth from the financial sector, which is focused on the Lujiazui area, according to the research.

The report also said several companies that have been watching for an opportunity in China will announce deals later this year, including a grade-B office project and an office block in the suburbs, according to a source familiar with the situation.

On the residential front, savvy investors will consider the current low level of transactions and declining prices as an opportunity to buy, the report said.

Transaction levels recovered slightly last month, but the residential market continues to be relatively quiet as the government's index for new home sales continues to slide.

"For some buyers, this presents a window of opportunity to purchase," said Michael Hart, an analyst at JLL China.

"These buyers view the slowdown as short term and believe Shanghai has huge long-term potential for an upside in the residential sector."

Among them, Gateway Capital, an investor from the Middle East, recently bought a tower comprising 100 units in Lakeville Regency from Shui On Land for about 600 million yuan (US$75 million). The unit price was about 40,000 yuan a square meter.