Shanghai residential plot sells for record $1.6 billion

SHANGHAI Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:14am EST

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SHANGHAI Jan 28 (Reuters) - A parcel of land in a suburb of Shanghai sold for a record 10.1 billion yuan ($1.67 billion) at auction on Tuesday, the most expensive plot of residential land ever sold in the city, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The winning bid by Chinese developer Franshion Properties Ltd, a subsidiary of Sinochem Group, represented a premium of 115 percent over the initial price of 4.7 billion yuan, underscoring robust demand despite Chinese government policies to cool fast-rising housing prices.

The previous record for residential land in Shanghai was 7.2 billion yuan set in 2009.

The 96,429 square metre (23.8 acres) plot is located in a northern suburb of Shanghai, where average new home prices rose 21.9 percent in December from the same month the previous year, the strongest growth among 70 major cities in China, the National Bureau of Statistics has reported.

In September, Hong Kong's largest developer, Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd, won an auction for a commercial district site in Shanghai worth 21.77 billion yuan.

Hong Kong developers are increasing investments in mainland China to offset thinning margins at home as a series of government tightening measures take a toll.

($1 = 6.0480 yuan)

(Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by John Ruwitch and Matt Driskill)

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