Sinyi Realty Inc (信義房屋), the nation’s only listed real-estate broker, saw its net profit fall 18 percent to NT$114.83 million (US$3.51 million) last quarter from a year earlier amid a sluggish housing market, and said the market might not be out of the woods any time soon.
“The soft patch may extend into the current quarter and beyond, although transactions showed a rebound last month,” compared with September, Sinyi chief financial officer James Chen (陳建志) told an investors’ conference in Taipei.
The number of housing transactions picked up 6 percent month-on-month to 15,761 units in the nation’s six major municipalities last month, government data showed.
The figure dropped 16 percent from a year earlier.
Sinyi’s cumulative income stood at NT$452.33 million for the first three quarters of the year, or earnings of NT$1.06 per share, Chen said.
That meant a 35 percent decline from the same period last year.
The poor earnings bucked the broker’s forecast three months earlier that the market would stabilize after the legislature revised property taxes in June.
However, the good news is that Sinyi saw its market share rise to 7.77 percent at the end of last quarter, compared with 7.11 percent in the previous quarter, as small brokers opted out of the business.
The sluggish market in Taiwan drove the Taipei-based company to shift more of its attention abroad by making forays into Malaysia last week, after setting up a presence in China and Japan.
Earlier, Sinyi denied having any intention of establishing offices in Malaysia, Cambodia or Thailand in the foreseeable future, saying it felt more comfortable doing business in familiar markets.
Property transactions are bound to soften further as unease over political uncertainties intensify with the advent of the presidential elections, analysts said.
A lack of substantial price concessions on the part of sellers has slowed transactions, despite isolated reports of price adjustments.
On Thursday, Taipei-based developer Huaku Development Co (華固建設) reported NT$361 million in net profit for last quarter, or NT$1.32 earnings per share.
Huaku’s showing last quarter more than doubled to NT$0.51 in EPS from a year earlier, thanks to income recognitions from newly completed houses, the company said in a stock filing.
Meanwhile, Highwealth Construction Corp (興富發) reported a net loss of NT$105 million for last quarter, during which no construction project was completed, the builder said in a stock filing on Thursday.
Presale home projects were weaker than existing homes as the former is more vulnerable to policy uncertainty.
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