Fri, Jul 27, 2012 - Page 13 News List

Property boom set to slow, report says

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

New home sales picked up sharply in terms of volume and prices on pent-up demand last quarter, but the trend is slowing this quarter as the shadows over the economic outlook darken, a report released yesterday showed.

New homes — including both presale projects and newly completed dwellings — totaled 17,575 units nationwide, jumping 40.7 percent from three months earlier and 51.7 percent from a year earlier, a quarterly report by Cathay Real Estate Development Co (國泰建設) and National Chengchi University’s Taiwan Real Estate Research Center (台灣房地產中心) showed.

Sales of the properties were estimated at NT$368.2 billion (US$12.2 billion), representing a 80.6 percent surge from the preceding quarter and 84.4 percent from the level one year ago, the survey indicated.

“I’m surprised at the findings,” said National Chengchi University land economics professor Chang Chin-oh (張金鶚), the head of the research panel, as he had forecast a price correction since the special sales levy was introduced in June last year.

Chang attributed the pickup to pent-up demand from people who postponed purchases in the two previous quarters because of concerns of domestic political uncertainty.

The re-election of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) in January and the government’s oil and electricity price hikes in April and last month boosted new home sales, with the trend most evident in central and southern Taiwan, Chang said.

The volume of new homes sold more than doubled to 1,265 units in Taipei, spiked 47.2 percent to 3,922 units in New Taipei City (新北市) and rose 42.6 percent to 5,390 units in Taoyuan and Hsinchu, compared with the preceding quarter, the survey found.

Greater Taichung, Greater Tainan and Greater Kaohsiung saw sequential increases in the volume of new homes of 11.3 percent, 77.5 percent and 34.9 percent respectively, the survey said.

The average price of a new home increased 10.27 percent in New Taipei City, 7.07 percent in Greater Taichung, 6.97 percent in Greater Tainan and 4.1 percent in Greater Kaohsiung, the report added.

“Relative affordability accounted for the rise in new home prices in those areas,” Chang said.

New home prices fell 5.51 percent in Taipei last quarter with some luxury home projects seeing no transactions at all.

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