Fri, May 03, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Property transfers on the increase in all municipalities

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Property transactions rose 8.78 percent in the nation’s five major municipalities last month from the previous month, which analysts said reflected a gradually recovering market.

A total of 20,949 residential and commercial properties changed hands last month, with New Taipei City (新北市), Greater Taichung and Greater Tainan posting double-digit monthly gains of 11.8 percent, 13.5 percent and 10 percent respectively, government data showed.

Property deals increased by a modest 5.3 percent in Taipei to 3,228 units, while edging up 1 percent to 3,401 in Greater Kaohsiung month-on-month, the data showed.

The pickup in transactions nationwide last month hit 15 percent when compared with the same period last year, as concerns over a special sales levy and new price-registration requirements started to subside, said Andy Huang (黃舒衛), research manager at Evertrust Rehouse Co (永慶房屋).

“Property transactions may grow by 5 percent to 10 percent in the current quarter from three months earlier on the back of pent-up demand and sustained excess liquidity,” Huang said.

Global central banks would maintain their monetary easing policies in the foreseeable future, driving some idle funds to property investments, he said.

Moreover, the special sales levy will begin to lose its teeth after it passes its second anniversary next month, freeing up houses purchased two years ago from taxes of up to 15 percent, he added.

Property transactions reached 4,482 units last month in Greater Taichung underpinned by high-end apartments, as an increasing number of people take up residence in central Taiwan, Kenny Liu (劉志雄), a property analyst at Taiwan Realty Co (台灣房屋), said by telephone.

Liu attributed the trend to strengthened infrastructure facilities and relatively affordable house prices in Greater Taichung.

The recovery appears broad-based and has the backing of the macro-environment, Liu said.

“The correction in gold prices is lending support to real estate as the best investment tool,” he said.

Affordability boosted property transfers to 6,859 units in New Taipei City last month, the highest level since the imposition of the price-registration requirement in August last year and topping all other municipalities, Sinyi Realty Inc (信義房屋) said.

The rebound was concentrated in Linkou (林口), which saw a 61 percent increase, Sansia (三峽) with a 48 percent increase and Tamsui (淡水) with a 21 percent increase, Sinyi Realty said.

Property transfers totaled 2,302 units in Greater Tainan, a 29.3 percent pickup when compared with the previous year.

The trend may enable house prices in the south to gradually catch up with those in the north, despite the large gap at present, Sinyi said.

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