Shanghai has surpassed Beijing as the city with the highest property prices on the mainland, following a 24.2 per cent increase last year, Xinhua reported yesterday. Quoting the latest figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics, the news agency said the average price of property in Shanghai was 5,118 yuan per square metre. This is more than double the national average of 2,389 yuan per square metre. The municipality of Shanghai and the provinces of Jiangxi and Shanxi were the only three mainland locations to have recorded an increase of more than 20 per cent in property prices. Xinhua said 10 provinces had seen lower property prices last year, half of them in the western region. The average price of residential property was 2,212 yuan per square metre, a 3.9 per cent rise from 2002. The price of office space fell 1.4 per cent to 4,293 yuan per square metre, while commercial property stood at 3,739 yuan per square metre, a 4.5 per cent jump over 2002.