Sat, Dec 28, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Evertrust targets more outlets, higher revenue

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Evertrust Rehouse Co (永慶房屋), the nation’s largest real-estate agency by number of outlets, aims to increase its revenue by a high single-digit percentage next year on the back of a larger service network and greater brand benefits, senior executives said yesterday.

Revenue is set to exceed NT$580 billion (US$19.3 billion) by the end of this year, rising 10 percent from last year, and may reach NT$630 billion next year, Evertrust president Benson Liao (廖本勝) said.

The property broker, which owns three brands — Yung Ching Realty Co (永慶), U-Trust Realty Co (有巢氏) and Taiching Realty Co (台慶房屋) — expects home transactions to stay flat next year from between 365,000 and 370,000 deals this year, but is confident the group can outperform its rivals.

Evertrust spokesman and researcher Andy Huang (黃舒衛) said the confidence was mainly due to the company’s plans to expand its number of outlets by more than 20 percent to 1,250 next year, from 1,030 at the end of last month.

“Economic uncertainty makes expansion easier and less expensive,” Huang said by telephone, as some brokers may choose to exit the market.

Evertrust plans to hire 5,000 employees next year, in line with expectations of a larger service area and market share, Huang said.

First-time home buyers will continue to underpin the market next year after driving a majority of transactions this year, the analyst said, adding that small and relatively affordable apartments in suburban areas in Greater Taipei and other municipalities will remain mainstream products.

The trend accounts for active sales in such districts of Tamsui (淡水), Linkou (林口) and Sanchong (三重) in New Taipei City (新北市), Evertrust said.

Housing prices are likely to consolidate in Taipei after steep hikes in recent years, but apartments in Songshan District (松山) may prove the exception, showing a marked increase thanks to work on the MRT’s Songshan Line, Huang said.

Storefronts may be another bright spot next year due to strong demand for retail space in locations frequented by Chinese tourists, the analyst said.

In terms of transaction volume, the first half would fare stronger than the second half as prospective buyers may take a wait-and-see attitude toward the seven-in-one elections late next year.

“Increasing unaffordability tops the list of public complaints and different candidates may make promises to address the issue on the campaign trail,” Huang said.

Policymakers have suggested taxing second homes and overall holding costs to help rein in soaring home prices.

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