Property transactions in Taiwan for the first half of the year fell to an almost nine-year low, reflecting the implementation of a luxury tax which aims to curb market speculation, according to government statistics released by the Ministry of the Interior on Saturday.
According to the statistics, residential and commercial property transactions over the past six months fell 20.9 percent to approximately 159,000 units.
The luxury tax, which took effect in June last year, imposes a 15 percent sales tax on second homes sold within one year of purchase and a 10 percent sales tax on properties sold between one and two years after they were first bought.
The statistics showed Yilan County recorded an increase in property transactions during the six month period, while all the other counties and cities across the country saw their numbers fall.
Kinmen County suffered the steepest decline in volume of transactions, down 37.97 percent from a year earlier, ahead of Taipei, which saw a drop of 36.48 percent, and New Taipei City (新北市), whose transactions fell by 33.93 percent, the statistics indicated.
The ministry said property transactions largely took place in the five super municipalities — Taipei, New Taipei City, Greater Taichung, Greater Tainan and Greater Kaohsiung — as well as in Taoyuan County. The six areas accounted for 78 percent of total property transactions.
New Taipei City made up 20.1 percent of the nation’s total property transactions, the largest portion, followed by Taoyuan with 14.2 percent and Taichung with 14 percent.
The average floor area per unit of property transactions executed in Taipei was the smallest in the local property market with 25.41 ping (84m2) after Keelung with 25.91 ping and New Taipei City with 28.73 ping.
Yunlin County had the largest average floor area per unit in property transactions with 52.06 ping, ahead of Changhua County with 50.44 ping and Nantou County with 48.47 ping.
According to the statistics, the number of properties which were sold for the first time, largely new homes, over the past six months fell by 3.7 percent from a year earlier to 44,000 units.
However, the total floor area of the particular segment rose 12.4 percent from a year ago, the statistics said.