Housing transactions in the five special municipalities grew 1.93 percent last month to 19,750 units from 19,376 units in October, according to the latest data compiled from local governments’ Web sites.
The increase was solely driven by affordable housing deals in outlying districts of New Taipei City (新北市), with transaction declines in Taipei, Greater Taichung, Greater Tainan and Greater Kaohsiung last month.
The mild increase bucked the expectations for big jumps in transactions, which brokers had predicted for the traditional high season in the current quarter.
New Taipei City saw home transfers increase 11 percent to 7,134 units after the completion of large apartment complexes in Sindian Distict (新店) and Tamsui District (淡水), Evertrust Rehouse Co (永慶房屋) researcher Andy Huang (黃舒衛) said.
With the convenience of the Mass Rapid Transit system and relatively affordable housing prices, Sindian and Tamsui continued to attract home buyers, as evidenced by the 175 percent and 38 percent increase in sales last month respectively, while Shulin District (樹林) also reported a hefty gain of 16.7 percent, Huang said.
However, transactions shrank 4 percent to 2,983 units in Taipei last month and retreated 2 percent to 4,355 units in Greater Taichung. Deals decreased 4 percent to 1,940 units in Greater Tainan and dropped 1.7 percent to 3,338 units in Greater Kaohsiung.
H&B Realty Co (住商不動產) attributed the downturn outside New Taipei City to the weaker-than-expected economy.
Talks of interest rate hikes at home and abroad next year also deepened a cautious sentiment, H&B head researcher Jessica Hsu (徐佳馨) said.
Increasing unaffordability drove prospective buyers to the sidelines, Taiwan Realty Co (台灣房屋) said.
Taipei City Government data showed an existing top-floor apartment on Zhongxiao E Road Sec 5 sold for NT$420 million (US$14 million), or NT$2 million per ping (3.3m2) in October, making the building the fifth-most expensive in the capital based on government data, the broker said.