Tue, Oct 04, 2016 - Page 12 News List

Property market weak amid tax increase talks

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Property transactions in the nation’s major municipalities declined 4.2 percent last month from a month earlier as buying interest remained weak amid talk of a tax increase.

A total of 14,878 properties changed hands in Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung, down 4.2 percent from August, the individual local governments said on their Web sites.

The figures marked a slight 0.4 percent increase when compared with the same period last year.

“The results confirm our concerns that the market could retreat after a rebound in the second quarter when the construction of several new residential projects was completed,” Evertrust Rehouse Co (永慶房屋) spokesman Lin Tai-lung (林泰隆) said.

In the absence of any disruptions, trading remained languid, Lin said, adding that a greater price correction is necessary to facilitate deals.

Transactions in Taipei dropped 3.4 percent to 1,895 units, while in Taoyuan they softened 12.5 percent to 2,531 units, data showed.

The south of the nation fared even worse, as trading volume plunged 18.9 percent to 1,273 units in Tainan and 10.6 percent to 2,399 units in Kaohsiung.

The Tainan City Government has proposed retrospectively raising the housing tax.

New Taipei City and Taichung bucked the trend with a monthly increase of 8.1 percent and 1.2 percent respectively, data showed.

Lin attributed the upturn to the completion of the construction of new apartment complexes in New Taipei City’s Tucheng (土城) and Banciao (板橋) districts.

In the first nine months, transactions totaled 130,340 units in the six municipalities, a decrease of 12.2 percent from the same period last year.

The market has little chance of showing a recovery this quarter, as most people expect prices to continue to fall, Lin said, citing a company survey.

Prospective buyers are likely to stay on the sidelines to avoid paying over the odds, Lin said.

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