Fri, May 04, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Holiday dampened housing sales in six major cities

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Housing transactions last month dropped slightly in the nation’s six special municipalities from a year earlier as the Tomb Sweeping Day holiday dampened market activity, real-estate brokers said.

A total of 14,943 properties changed hands, slowing 1.9 percent from the same period last year, as people spent the long holiday on vacation or family gatherings, Sinyi Realty Inc (信義房屋) researcher Tseng Ching-der (曾進德) said.

This year’s holiday fell before the weekend, allowing people to take a five-day vacation at home or abroad.

“The holiday disruption is likely to be short-lived, with normal activity resuming this month,” Tseng said.

New Taipei City reported the largest number of transactions, with 3,909 cases, city government data showed.

That represented a 7.5 percent pickup from a year earlier.

Taipei saw a 4.9 percent year-on-year improvement with 1,791 deals and Tainan posted an increase of 9.9 percent to 1,569 transactions, according to their respective official Web sites.

The three other special municipalities recorded declines: Taichung dropped 13.4 percent to 2,770 cases, Taoyuan slid 10 percent to 2,402 and Kaohsiung fell 3.8 percent to 2,502.

Evertrust Rehouse Co (永慶房屋) research manager Jay Hsieh (謝志傑) said the delivery of new houses is not a present or reliable indicator, as buyers made their purchase decisions a few years back.

Rather, existing home transactions might be a better indicator of market trends, he said.

Existing home sales last month continued a recovery seen in the first quarter, when overall property transactions grew 10.8 percent from a year earlier, he said.

However, pricing pressure persists as affordability remains a problem.

Housing affordability is low in most parts of the nation, with mortgage burdens accounting for 61.52 percent of household incomes in Taipei and 52.19 percent in New Taipei City, higher than the national average of 37.58 percent, government data showed.

Mortgage burdens of 30 percent or lower are considered reasonable.

The backdrop suggests an extended buyer’s market and sellers would have to make price concessions to sustain a recovery, Hsieh said.

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