Evertrust Rehouse Co (永慶房屋), the nation’s largest real-estate agency, said yesterday it aimed to expand its market share from 10 percent now to 20 percent in three years, with revenue rising to NT$10 billion (US$311.6 million).
Evertrust and Sinyi Realty Co (信義房屋), the nation’s top two realtors, currently make up less than 20 percent of the market as there are more than 4,000 real-estate firms across the country, Evertrust president Benson Liao (廖本勝) told reporters.
“The nation’s property market is highly fragmented, so it still has a lot of room for improvement,” Liao said, adding that for a mature industry, the first two biggest companies should account for at least 70 percent market share.
“We hope to increase our market share to 20 percent within three years and boost transaction volume by 25 percent from last year,” Liao said, adding that Evertrust is the sixth-biggest real-estate agency in Shanghai.
Statistics by the Construction and Planning Agency showed that the number of property deals closed in Taiwan last year reached 388,298, up from 379,320 in 2008.
Housing prices in Taipei City rose to NT$379,000 per ping (3.3m²) on average last year, up from NT$327,000 per ping, while prices in Taipei County climbed to NT$191,300 per ping, from NT$189,000 per ping, Liao said.
The property market last year received a boost from capital inflow from China-based Taiwanese businesspeople and Taiwanese expatriates, he said, adding that the government’s proposed economic pact with China would further boost the local real-estate market.
Meanwhile, Chen Shi-ling (陳史翎), president of Evertrust in Shanghai, said that the property market in the Chinese city was fundamentally different from that in Taipei, because the real-estate market there was controlled by the government.
“It is more like an investment market there, but in Taipei, most of the people purchase houses for their own use,” Chen said. “Houses are like stocks or funds in Shanghai.”
Global property consultancy Savills said in a recent report that transaction volume in Shanghai had fallen and that price hikes had slowed because of the Chinese government’s measures to curb the overheating property market.
“The government has predictably stepped into the fray, limiting credit supply, reintroducing taxes involved in property transactions and raising down payment ratios,” Savills said in a quarterly report about the Shanghai market issued on Thursday.
Although these measures seemed to have produced desired effects, “the Chinese government, while still able to control and influence the market, may now not be willing to do so for long,” the report said.
“However, this time there is no robust export market to fall back on and there is a very real possibility that, should the government restrict the property market too hard or for too long, the economic recovery that has made headlines around the world could come to an end prematurely,” it said.