Mon, Jun 03, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Housing transactions last month fall as interest fades

Staff writer, WITH CNA

Residential and commercial property transactions fell about 7 percent last month from the previous month, amid fading buying interest across the nation, statistics showed on Saturday.

Transactions of property to be used as homes, offices and shops in Greater Kaohsiung last month fell 24 percent month-on-month, while housing transactions in Taoyuan County dropped 13 percent, according to statistics from Sinyi Realty Inc (信義房屋).

Property transactions in New Taipei City (新北市) fell 9 percent last month from April, while Hsinchu County saw a drop of 7 percent in and Greater Tainan transactions declined by 4 percent, data showed.

Sinyi Realty analyst Tseng Ching-der (曾敬德) said buying interest spiked after major property developers launched a large number of new projects after the Lunar New Year holiday from Feb. 9 to Feb. 17, but the enthusiasm seems to have waned in the past month.

The steepest decline was seen in Greater Kaohsiung, where transaction volume was also affected by a relatively high comparison base in April, Tseng said.

However, the property market in Taipei and Greater Taichung remained relatively stable last month, bucking the downtrend in the broader market, with transactions in the capital staying unchanged from a month earlier and sales in Taichung rising 3 percent, the statistics showed.

Tseng said the average home price in Taipei was NT$654,000 (US$21,800) per ping (3.3m2) last month, little changed from April. Homes valued at between NT$15 million and NT$20 million accounted for almost 20 percent of total transactions, he said.

In New Taipei City, the average home price fell about 10 percent last month from April to NT$339,000 per ping, with units valued at between NT$15 million and NT$20 million making up 12.6 percent of total transactions, Tseng said.

The figures show that an increasing number of home buyers in Taipei and New Taipei City are looking for properties in the NT$15 million to NT$20 million price range, he said.

Tseng said investors should keep a close eye on two possible policy changes — one domestic and the other external — that could affect the property market in the second half of the year: These are the early phasing out of the US Federal Reserve’s stimulus measures and a revision of the domestic luxury property tax put in place in 2011 to curb property speculation.

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