Tue, Nov 07, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Housing market looking set to remain buoyant

By Amber Chung  /  STAFF REPORTER

The nation's buoyant housing market is likely to be unaffected by the aftermath of the indictment of first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) industry veterans said yesterday.

"We remain optimistic about the property sector," Victor Chang (張欣民), director of the research and development division at Sinyi Real Estate Inc (信義房屋), the nation's largest housing agent, said in a phone interview yesterday.

The political uncertainty did not seem to have had an immediate impact on the housing market, considering the busy homebuyer traffic in visiting pre-sale housing projects and secondary houses over the past weekend, Chang said.

There is a possibility the market could suffer if anti-President-Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) protesters regroup for further large-scale demonstrations, he said.

Construction sub-index outperformed the benchmark index with a rise of 0.95 percent compared with the TAIEX, which dropped 0.57 percent yesterday.

A number of construction stocks almost hit the 7-percent limit-up, including Radium Life Tech Co (日勝生活科技) that rose to NT$45.20 (US$1.37) and Kuo Yang Construction Co (國揚實業) that closed at NT$21.30 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday.

"Political disturbance is only a short-term bearish factor that will not impede house shopping and investment momentum," Chang said.

Meanwhile, the nation's housing market seems to have rid itself of the sluggishness seen in the third quarter, a result of the ghost month effect and political uncertainty, with the volume of transactions in the greater Taipei area growing 7 percent last month from September, according to data compiled by Evertrust Rehouse (永慶房屋).

Average prices climbed 2 percent to NT$280,000 per ping in the Taipei area over the same time, the data showed.

Good business can be expected in the high fourth quarter, said Yeh Ling-chi (葉凌棋), president of Evertrust Rehouse, the second biggest housing agent in Taiwan.

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