Sat, Dec 29, 2012 - Page 13 News List

First-time buyers lifting housing market: brokers

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Existing home transactions rebounded modestly this month from last month as low-priced housing outside Greater Taipei gained popularity among first-time buyers, major real-estate brokers said yesterday.

Sinyi Realty Inc (信義房屋), the nation’s only listed broker, reported a 15 percent pickup in home deals nationwide this month, with house prices dropping by 11 percent to NT$20.29 million (US$696,581) in Taipei and by 1.3 percent to NT$10.41 million in New Taipei City (新北市).

Tseng Chin-der (曾敬德) attributed the trend to an increasing preference for low-priced houses among buyers in the Greater Taipei area, which dragged down the average costs.

Home prices held up in other parts, rising 7 percent to NT$7.93 million in Taoyuan, 7.4 percent to NT$7.87 million in Hsinchu and 10.3 percent to NT$7.6 million in Greater Kaohsiung, compared with last month’s levels, Sinyi said.

“The figures show that buying interest is up outside Greater Taipei as people are willing to spend more in order to own a home,” Tseng said in a statement.

H&B Business Group (住商不動產), the nation’s largest home brokerage by number of franchises, saw its sales rise 5 percent this month from last month, led by demand for two-bedroom apartments.

Transactions in Greater Taipei flattened this month from last month, but gained momentum in Taoyuan, Taichung and Greater Kaohsiung, the broker said.

“Some buyers felt more comfortable entering the market” since the government started to publish home prices on its Web site in October, H&B head researcher Jessica Hsu (徐佳馨) said.

Many potential buyers prefer to stay on the sidelines until gaining better knowledge of market rates, Hsu said.

Taiwan Realty Co (台灣房屋), another major real-estate broker, reported a 2.56 percent increase in its home sales this month, underpinned by low-priced houses in popular locations in different parts of the nation, the company said.

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