Fri, Apr 17, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Interest in acquiring real estate revives, survey shows

By Crystal Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

A series of interest rate and inheritance tax cuts has led an increasing number of people to express interest in buying property, with many no longer expecting a sharp decline in housing prices, a survey showed yesterday.

The survey, conducted by Evertrust Rehouse Group (永慶房仲集團), found that 60 percent of respondents said the next six months would be an opportune time to acquire real estate, up from 54 percent at the end of last year.

Evertrust senior manager Yeh Lin-chi (葉凌棋) linked the growing optimism to ongoing rallies in local share prices after people channeled money from banks to equity markets.

“Property transactions picked up slightly in the first quarter, with prices at about the same level from three months ago,” Yeh told a media briefing. “The worst may be over.”

Respondents expecting price drops stood at 57 percent, about the same level as the last survey, showing that the downward adjustment was bottoming out, Yeh said. He warned sellers not to raise prices, saying the phenomenon should be not interpreted as a full recovery.

Chuang Meng-han (莊孟翰), a professor of industrial economics at Tamkang University, said the property market was likely to remain sluggish for two to three years, despite signs of momentum.

“While it is good to be confident, people had better remain cautious on the market,” he said.

Chuang attributed the rallies in the local bourse to idle funds rather than a shift in economic fundamentals.

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