Thu, Oct 01, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Property sector seeing modest rebound: MOI

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The local property market appears to have bottomed out and experienced a mild rebound in the second quarter of this year, according to a Ministry of the Interior quarterly report, in which housing indicators saw the first uptick since the third quarter of last year.

It is still too early to say whether the domestic housing sector will begin to see solid recovery, Chang Chin-oh (張金鶚), professor of land economics at National Chengchi University, said while presenting the report yesterday.

The study was conducted by the ministry’s Architecture and Building Research Institute.

“The decline in the sector has eased and [the sector saw] some liquidity-driven stability in the second quarter, but it is expected to enter a period of corrections in the near future,” Chang said.

Chang attributed the uptick in the composite housing index — which is composed of a leading index, a coincident index and a monitoring index — to the government’s stimulus measures and planned easing of cross-strait regulation.

The monitoring housing index jumped 1 point to 7 points in the second quarter, flashing blue for the fourth consecutive quarter, indicating that the market remains sluggish.

The leading housing index, used to forecast market performance over the next three quarters, edged up 0.66 percent to 92.57 points in the second quarter, while the coincident index, which reflects current housing market conditions, rose 0.69 percent to 100.69 points.

Chang said uncertainty would continue to haunt the sector, as the study found that property-related businesses were divided in their hopes for economic recovery before the end of the year.

Some 30 percent of polled businesses predicted solid economic recovery in the fourth quarter, while 40 percent expressed doubt, the report showed.

On the housing sector’s prospects for the fourth quarter, respondents were optimistic, the report said. Some 46 percent of surveyed businesses, including financial institutions, said the housing sector would improve in the fourth quarter, 43 percent were doubtful and 11 percent said the market would deteriorate.

Meanwhile, buying activity in the housing sector experienced an averaged drop of 5.8 percent month-on-month for the month of August. That was the biggest single-month decline this year, as potential home buyers hesitated in response to rising property prices in recent months, Taiwan Realty (台灣房屋) said in a statement yesterday.

Among the nation’s six metropolitan areas, Hsinchu City, Taichung City and Taipei City saw the largest monthly declines, at 19.2 percent, 7.8 percent and 4.7 percent respectively, the realtor said.

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