Tue, Jul 31, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Developers boost launch of new housing projects

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Builders and developers last quarter launched NT$280.3 billion (US$9.16 billion) of presale and new housing projects, up 64 percent from three months earlier, encouraged by recovering transactions, Cathay Real Estate Development Co (國泰建設) said in a survey released last week.

The figure represented a 37.2 percent increase from a year earlier, according to the quarterly survey conducted by National Chengchi University’s Taiwan Real Estate Research Center (台灣房地產中心).

Despite improving sentiment, developers and builders remained cautious, as the sales rate rose only mildly, while the bargaining rate failed to taper off, the report said.

“It remains to be seen if the volume would continue to rise going forward as construction companies assign more importance to transactions than prices,” it said.

A total of 22,736 presale and new housing units were put on the market from April to June, with small apartments averaging NT$12.09 million being the mainstream product, it said.

New Taipei City accounted for more than 30 percent of the value at NT$86.3 billion, a sharp increase of 153 percent from the previous quarter, as developers sought to take advantage of business opportunities in the city’s Sindian (新店) and Sinjhuang (新莊) districts caused by rezoning, it said.

Taoyuan and Hsinchu reported a combined value of NT$52.4 billion, as relative affordability won over prospective buyers, it said.

Taipei finished in third place with NT$50.9 billion of new housing, or a 13.4 percent growth from the previous quarter, it said.

The property market has benefited from a stable economy, flush liquidity and an accommodative monetary policy, it said, adding that stock rallies across global markets lent further support.

Kaohsiung last quarter reported NT$46.5 billion worth of new housing, while Taichung and Tainain reported NT$33.2 billion and NT$11 billion respectively, it said, adding that the numbers all suggested sharp hikes from the preceding quarter.

However, the 30-day sales rate inched up to 14.38 percent, while the bargaining rate widened to 15.03 percent, it said.

That means buyers failed to see eye to eye with developers over property values and an increase in the housing supply might add to selling pressure if the gap persists, it said.

Unfavorable factors loom large at home and abroad, and might snap the rebound in transactions, the survey said.

The central bank has kept selective credit controls on luxury homes and warned home owners against extra mortgage burdens once it shifts its monetary policy stance.

Analysts have forecast an interest rate hike in December or early next year.

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