Thu, Mar 14, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Most Taiwanese expect housing prices to rise: poll

TURNAROUND?The results lend support to expectations of a rise in housing transactions from next quarter onward, an official with Evertrust said

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

A majority of Taiwanese expect housing prices to rise in the next 12 months, which bodes well for home transactions, a survey by Evertrust Rehouse Co (永慶房屋) indicated yesterday.

Nearly 60 percent of respondents expected housing prices to pick up in the coming year, compared with 24 percent three months ago, while 22 percent expected prices to fall, the quarterly survey found.

The survey came after existing home transactions in major metropolitan areas dropped by more than 40 percent to a nine-year low last month, contradicting reports by property brokers that the market had hit bottom last quarter and was on course for a gradual recovery.

The latest survey results lend support to a turnaround in outlook that may help boost housing transactions from next quarter onward, Evertrust senior manager Yeh Lin-chi (葉凌棋) said.

“The second quarter may see a modest pickup in both home deals and prices,” Yeh said, adding that home prices have climbed steadily despite unfavorable policies.

Yeh said the trend is consistent with money-printing in major economies to stimulate economic growth, which has caused funds to flow into the real-estate market as a hedge against inflation.

Fears of hot money inflows led Hong Kong, China and Singapore to introduce new tightening measures recently, Yeh said.

The government is set to make similar moves and keep the special sales levy in place two years after its implementation in June, he said.

The Ministry of Finance has said it would re-evaluate the levy that subjects houses resold within two years of purchase to taxes of up to 15 percent of the transaction value.

The ministry may narrow the scope by sparing homes for self-occupancy from the tax, but also step up the crackdown on tax evaders, Yeh said.

The survey polled 1,048 respondents online between Feb. 18 and March 4, the company said.

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