Wed, May 02, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Real estate spring sales season sees 26.8% rise in units

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Builders and developers launched NT$171 billion (US$5.78 billion) in presale projects and new homes last quarter, a 26.8 percent increase from a year earlier, to take advantage of a stable economy ahead of the nine-in-one elections in November, Cathay Real Estate Development Co (國泰建設) said on Monday.

“Builders and developers assigned great importance to this year’s spring sales season, because public attention would likely shift to the elections for local administrators and councilors in the second half,” the quarterly report said.

Political uncertainty tends not to bode well for the property market as housing unaffordability remains a top concern for voters and candidates’ rhetoric on the campaign trail tends to be critical of the industry.

SPEAKING IN UNITS

A total of 13,152 presale and new housing units were put on the market in the first three months of the year, with mainstream products priced at NT$12.24 million, a survey conducted by National Chengchi University’s Taiwan Real Estate Research Center (台灣房地產中心) found.

The center attributed the increased volume to a stable economy, low interest rates and ample liquidity.

Taipei recorded NT$44.8 billion of new housing projects, a 74.2 percent jump from a year earlier, followed by New Taipei City with NT$34.1 billion and Taichung with NT$32.8 billion, the center’s survey found.

New housing projects in Taoyuan and Hsinchu combined totaled NT$24.8 billion, NT$24.1 billion in Kaohsiung, while Tainan reported a 34.5 percent jump to NT$10.2 billion, the center said.

The critical 30-day sales rates made noticeable gains in Tainan and Kaohsiung, and held steady in Taichung, it said.

Sales were slacker in northern Taiwan, especially in Taipei and New Taipei City, compared with the previous quarter.

NEW HOME PRICES

New home prices fell 10.07 percent in Taipei to NT$767,800 per ping (3.3m2) and dropped 2.68 percent to NT$377,100 in New Taipei City, but were 6.33 percent higher in Taichung and 12.54 percent higher in Tainan, the center said.

Product types also affected pricing strategies. Developers have launched small apartments in northern Taiwan to make them appear more affordable.

UNEVEN MARKET

“Overall, the market has showed an uneven showing with buying interest evidently stronger in southern Taiwan and increasingly losing steam northward,” the center said.

Price concessions averaged 15.1 percent of asking prices in Taipei, grew to 18.53 percent in Taichung and rose to 19.11 percent in Kaohsiung, it said.

While economic fundamentals might continue to lend support to the market, stock volatility, inflation expectations and government policy could add uncertainty, the center said.

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