Fri, Apr 30, 2010 - Page 11 News List

Contractors plan for real estate sales of NT$150bn

BOOM SIGNFigures compiled by ‘Housing Monthly’ show projects worth more than twice as much as in May last year will be put on sale in Taiwan next month

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Undeterred by a government policy aimed at cooling the red hot real-estate sector, domestic land developers and construction companies nationwide plan to begin sales of more than NT$150 billion (US$4.77 billion) in real estate projects late next month, the Chinese-­language Housing Monthly said yesterday.

That will be more than double the NT$65.5 billion put on sale during the high season in May last year — a sign of a sustainable real-­estate boom, the monthly’s executive director Nii Tzu-jung (倪子仁) said by telephone yesterday.

“It’s evident that home buyers are continuing to bank on the signing of an economic cooperation framework agreement with China as a boost to the property sector,” he said.

The monthly’s statistics indicate that real-estate projects in Taipei to be sold between May 15 and June 15 will total NT$38.5 billion, while those in Taipei County will total NT$59.5 billion, the magazine said in a press statement.

New residential projects in the greater Taipei area, including several luxury housing projects, account for 80 percent of the total value of the nation’s soon-to-be-launched projects, it said.

In related news, the central bank released statistics on Wednesday showing that the nation’s mortgage balance reached a record high of NT$4.95 trillion, while the balance of bank lending to the construction sector also hit a new high of NT$1.059 trillion, which suggests a ratio of 4.68.

That ratio, Chiu Tai-hsuan (邱太煊) of Taiwan Realty Co (台灣房屋) said, remained “healthy” and fell in a safe range of between 4 and 6 in comparison with the realtor’s statistics in the past 23 years.

“As long as construction companies refrain from over-­borrowing to create excessive supply, the nation’s property prices will not easily crash,” he said in a press statement.

Chiu said the firm’s data showed that the ratio shot up to its highest level of 8.66 in June 1990 and plummeted to its lowest level, 1.64, in February 1993 when buying activities suddenly froze.

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