A Shanghai villa has sold for RMB205 million, $30 million, which makes it the most costly residential real estate deal yet for mainland China.
One swallow does not, however, make a summer. Other prices remain depressed.
Shimao Property Holdings would not disclose any details about the identity of the buyer of the fully furnished, 4,000 square meter (43,056 sq. foot) 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 in the Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post except by 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 RMB155 million (about US$23 million), the company said.
Shanghai Shimao’s shares jumped by the daily 10 percent limit following the news.
Shimao said the RMB205 million (US$30 million) deal was the costliest so far for a mainland Chinese residential unit. But at RMB51,000, or $7,500, per square meter, 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 RMB130,000, or more than US$19,000, per square meter.
The International Tribune reported ‘In the short-term, the uncertainty of the global economic situation may induce further downside risks to the China property market.’
Shanghai Shimao reported a net profit of RMB61 million (US$8.9 million) in fiscal 2008, down 8% from a year earlier, as its sales revenue plunged 62%.
The Post quoted Lawrence Hui Wai-man, chief financial officer for Shimao Holdings, as saying while the market for both luxury and mainstream residential property is still feeble, there is always a niche for the very rich, .
Sheshan is virtually the only forested, hilly area in Shanghai, a city of more than 20 million people crowded into a corner of the pancake-flat Yangtze River delta.
The villa is one of 70 in the gated community, 60 of which have already sold, according to Shimao.
Lawrence Hui Wai-man said,’The record-breaking deal does not represent a recovery in the market. It just so happened there was a wealthy buyer who liked the property.’