Mon, Jan 08, 2018 - Page 15 News List

Real-estate transactions edge up 1.5%

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Real-estate transactions last month in the nation’s six special municipalities totaled 19,242 units, a lackluster 1.5 percent increase from the same period a year earlier, despite the traditional high season, according to statistics compiled by separate local governments and released on Tuesday last week.

For the whole of last year, property deals in Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung rose 11.85 percent to 203,879 units, reversing three years of decline, the data showed.

Transactions fell to 182,287 units in 2016, the lowest for any year since record-keeping began in 1991.

Overall transactions nationwide also hit a record low of 245,000 units in 2016. The six municipalities account for about 75 percent of the nation’s total residential and commercial property transactions.

While last year’s figures demonstrate a noticeable improvement in sentiment despite lingering expectations of price falls, the pace of recovery lost considerable momentum in the second half of the year, with an average increase of 4.7 percent, tapering off from the first half’s 20.7 percent growth, Evertrust Rehouse Co (永慶房屋) spokesman Jay Hsieh (謝志傑) said on Tuesday.

This is because sellers grew less willing to concede, while prospective buyers refused to pay more, Hsieh said, adding that the stalemate might slow transactions and derail the course of recovery.

“Unaffordability and oversupply give buyers the upper hand,” Hsieh said.

Taipei posted the strongest numbers with 2,553 deals last month, an improvement of 17.2 percent from a year earlier, thanks to the completion of presale housing projects, the data showed.

Real-estate transactions in Taichung showed an 11.88 percent gain with 3,927 deals, while Tainan saw an 8.7 percent increase with 2,040 deals, the data showed.

Deals in New Taipei City, Taoyuan and Kaohiung fell between 4.3 percent and 8.8 percent from a year earlier, the data showed.

Price correction pressures are to deepen, as more presale housing projects are due to enter the market this year, Evertrust said.

Sellers should cut prices and exit the market sooner to save funding costs, Hsieh said.

Sinyi Realty Inc (信義房屋) is more optimistic, saying a market rebound usually lasts a few years and that healthy economic fundamentals would lend further support.

The nation’s economy is undergoing a stable expansion as interest rates stay low — therefore, more buyers are likely to join the market this year, allowing transactions to climb higher, Sinyi researcher Tseng Ching-der (曾敬德) said.

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