Major property brokers reported a noticeable pickup in housing transactions last month as buyers regained some confidence after local governments stopped unfavorable rhetoric against the market.
However, prospective buyers have mostly adopted a wait-and-see attitude, making the recovery slow and fragile, if not premature, they said.
Evertrust Rehouse Co (永慶房屋), the nation’s largest real-estate broker by number of offices, said it saw buying interest last month grow 20 percent from January, while transactions held relatively steady, despite holiday disruptions.
There was a 19 percent annual increase in transactions over the past two months, suggesting the market might have hit the bottom and has begun to climb, Evertrust research manager Jay Hsieh (謝志傑) said.
Increased transactions were evident in Taipei, New Taipei City and Taoyuan, where housing prices fell more than 10 percent from their peaks in 2014, a more acceptable level for buyers, he said.
A trial run of the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Mass Rapid Transit line has shortened the commute time between Taipei and Taoyuan, boosting buying interest along the rail network, Hsieh said.
However, insignificant price corrections continued to constrain transactions in central and southern Taiwan, Hsieh said.
Sinyi Realty Inc (信義房屋), the nation’s only listed real-estate broker, arrived at similar conclusions, saying that housing deals picked up 27 percent in the past two months from a year earlier.
Transactions in Taipei and Taoyuan rose 32.8 percent and 37.4 percent respectively on the back of pent-up demand, Sinyi research manager Tseng Ching-der (曾進德) said.
“Buyers scared away by unfavorable policies have started to return to the market now that governments on different levels appear satisfied with the success of cooling measures,” Tseng said.
The change in attitude should gradually and steadily lift market confidence from a trough last year, during which housing transactions slumped to a record low, Tseng said.
Sinyi Realty’s development arm recently acquired two plots of land totaling 920 ping (3,041m2) in New Taipei City’s Banciao District (板橋) for NT$1.07 billion (US$34.91 million), on which it plans to build a residential apartment complex.
The land acquisition showed the firm’s optimism about the property market, despite a protracted soft patch, the company said in a statement.
Taiwan Realty Co (台灣房屋), another major broker, reported a steep increase in property transactions nationwide last month, led by Taoyuan.
Apartments at least 15 years old and priced between NT$11 million and NT$13 million were particularly popular among buyers with self-occupancy needs, Taiwan Realty said.
Buying interest for storefronts along the airport metro line intensified over the past two months, it added.
‘BIG LOSS’: This year might see the last generation of Huawei’s Kirin chips, as their production would stop next month because they are made using US technology Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Co (華為) is running out of processor chips to make smartphones due to US sanctions and would be forced to stop production of its own most advanced chips, a company executive has said, in a sign of growing damage to Huawei’s business from US pressure. Huawei, one of the biggest producers of smartphones and network equipment, is at the center of US-Chinese tension over technology and security. Washington last year cut off Huawei’s access to US components and technology, and those penalties were tightened in May, when the White House barred vendors worldwide from using US
’WHITE BOX’: The open platform would give local firms access to Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop 5G telecom equipment and tap into the global market The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday introduced a new 5G “open lab” in collaboration with US-based information technology and networking giant Cisco Systems Inc to address the rapidly growing “white box” 5G networking equipment market. The open lab will be a platform where Taiwanese manufacturers can access Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop their own 5G telecom equipment, such as small-cell base stations, network switches, modems and Internet of things (IoT) devices, a ministry statement said. The open platform would allow Taiwanese manufacturers to tap into the lucrative 5G telecom equipment market, which was previously monopolized by Nokia Oyj, Ericsson AB
CORPORATE SCANDAL: Cathay Life has invested NT$13.3 billion in Bank Mayapada since 2015, but the latest loss of NT$8.8 billion has completely written off its investment Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽) yesterday said it would recognize an investment loss of NT$8.8 billion (US$298.1 million) in Indonesia’s Bank Mayapada Internasional Tbk PT due to concerns about the lender’s operations amid a corporate scandal. The company said it would revise its earnings result for June, from a net profit of NT$6.52 billion to a net loss of NT$520 million, its first monthly loss over the past 17 months. After booking an investment loss of NT$5.2 billion in Bank Mayapada earlier this year, Cathay Life has so far recognized total investment losses of NT$14 billion in the lender, executive vice president
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday reported that revenue last month expanded 25 percent annually, but fell 12.8 percent month-on-month to NT$105.96 billion (US$3.59 billion). In the first seven months of this year, the chipmaker’s revenue surged 33.6 percent to NT$727.26 billion, compared with NT$544.46 billion a year earlier. TSMC has said it aims to grow its revenue by more than 20 percent this year. The company has since May 15 stopped taking new orders from Huawei Technologies Co (華為), its second-biggest customer after Apple Inc, due to the US’ restrictions on exports containing US technologies. TSMC has no plans to