The Shanghai government has finally introduced measures to rejuvenate flagging sectors of the real-estate market by cutting transaction fees by 3.5 percentage points and opening the market to non-Shanghainese. Officials said the Pudong new area, Changning district in Puxi and Qingpu county had been designated test areas for the measures. Fan Yutang , a senior Shanghai Housing and Land Administration Bureau official, said the measures would have a significant effect, particularly in the secondary market. Pudong sources said the measures would be extended to the rest of the city by September. The measures would enable non-Shanghainese to qualify for residence permits in the test areas by buying a flat worth 400,000 yuan (about HK$371,600) with floor space of at least 861 square feet. Companies that buy offices of more than 2,152.8 sq ft in Pudong would also qualify for residence permits for their staff. Mao Wu , division chief at Pudong Comprehensive Planning and Land Bureau, said as the main test point, the government was allowing Pudong to move one step ahead of the rest of Shanghai. 'By giving such preferential policy to Pudong, it will help the area's development,' he said. The official vacancy rate of residential and office space in Pudong is 30 per cent, a figure property consultants put at 80 per cent. Pudong was reported to have released 8 million sq ft of residential space and 2.4 million sq ft of office space for sale. Yang Min , research assistant at Jones Lang Wootton Shanghai, said the government was eager to attract wealthy mainlanders to Pudong, where population density was much lower compared with the older Puxi area. 'The measures will appeal to people from the other provinces because all along Shanghai has kept strict control on its population and rarely gives residence permits.' Mr Yang warned of government optimism over the measures. 'Yes, they will be effective but only to a certain extent,' he said. Changning district said it would release a few hundred flats for sale under the measures. Gubei new zone, one of the areas in Shanghai with the largest number of flats available, would not be included, Xie Liming , the district's construction commission director, said. Changning was chosen as a test point because its real estate market was in a 'more mature stage of development', Mr Xie said.