Sat, Dec 04, 2010 - Page 12 News List

Growing consumer confidence boosts real-estate sales

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff Reporter

Residential real-estate transactions picked up modestly last month from a month earlier as recovering consumer confidence outweighed concern over credit control, major real estate agencies said.

Sinyi Realty Co (信義房屋) reported an 8 percent increase in the number of housing units traded last month from a month earlier, driven by private buyers as investors remained cautious after the central bank tightened credit for second-home loans in June.

“The latest transaction data affirmed our belief that prospective buyers assigned more importance to housing prices and locations than the mayoral elections at the end of November,” Stanley Su (蘇啟榮), a senior researcher at Sinyi, said by telephone.

Housing prices in Taipei City were almost unchanged at NT$500,000 (US$16,240) per ping (3.3m2) last month, NT$250,000 in Sinbei City and NT$110,000 in central and southern Taiwan, Su said.

Housing prices are likely to consolidate in the near term as the central bank may further tighten credit to prevent asset bubbles, while Chinese and foreign capital may flow to the sector amid improving cross-strait trade ties, Su said.

Evertrust Rehouse Co (永慶房屋) saw transactions little changed in northern and central Taiwan last month, while units transferred rose 3.5 percent in southern areas, company communications manager Bright Lee (李建興) said by telephone.

Housing prices picked up 4.8 percent and 3.3 percent in Taipei City and Sinbei City respectively from a month earlier, Lee said. He attributed the trend to improving consumer confidence after the jobless rate dropped below 5 percent.

Taiwan Realty Co (台灣房屋), the largest brokerage in the Taoyuan and Hsinchu areas, reported that the number of home transactions increased by 2.1 percent to 10.24 percent in different parts of Taiwan, while prices were nearly flat from levels a month earlier, said Chiu Tai-hsuan, head researcher at Taiwan Realty.

Housing transactions rose 2.3 percent and 2.1 percent in Taipei City and Kaohsing City respectively, while units transferred grew 10.4 percent in Hsinchu and 9.2 percent in Taichung, Chiu said.

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