To gauge the buying demand of mainlanders for domestic and overseas residential property, the South China Morning Post and consultancy Century 21 China Real Estate have partnered on a quarterly sentiment survey. In the third poll, conducted in the third quarter in Beijing and Shanghai, 484 clients of Century 21 were interviewed, compared to 565 in the second quarter and 350 in the first quarter. The latest survey indicated homebuying interest was slightly lower than in the second quarter. Fewer respondents reported that they would consider projects priced at more than 30,000 yuan (HK$38,000) per square metre. The results also showed a sharp increase in the proportion of potential upgraders who owned a home and wanted to move up the property ladder. At the same time, respondents showed they were becoming more interested in buying property overseas, with potential emigration cited as a more important factor than investment. Sentiment has improved in the mainland's housing market after a policy relaxation late last month, but much depends on whether banks boost lending. Amid deteriorating economic indicators, the mainland central bank unveiled a slew of measures to support home purchases and reopen financing channels for cash-strapped developers. Results on domestic demand 1) Do you plan to buy a home in the next three months? Yes: 3 per cent (against 4 per cent in the second quarter; 6 per cent in the first quarter). 2) What is the price you can afford and what is the price of projects you are looking at now? Forty-six per cent (47 per cent; 66 per cent) said they could afford less than 30,000 yuan (HK$38,000) per square metre, while 46 per cent (48 per cent; 63 per cent) said they were looking at projects below that price. 3) Do you own a home and do you plan to sell it in order to buy a new one? Ninety-four per cent (63 per cent; 49 per cent) said they owned a home, and 51 per cent (21 per cent; 8 per cent) said they would sell it to buy a new one. Results on overseas demand 1) Do you plan to buy a home abroad in the next three months? Yes: 0.2 per cent (against none in the second quarter; 1.3 per cent in the first quarter). 2) Why would you buy abroad? Thirty-nine per cent (44 per cent; 39 per cent) cited children’s education for the decision, while 40 per cent (12 per cent; 35 per cent) said it would be for emigration and 21 per cent (44 per cent; 26 per cent) would do so for investment. 3) What is your main concern about buying abroad? Thirty-five per cent (36 per cent; 57 per cent) said policy issues would be their main concern, while 32 per cent (39 per cent; 29 per cent) would care the most about price.