Sat, Mar 02, 2019 - Page 12 News List

Housing sales surge in first two months

SLOW SEASON:One analyst said that the market could improve further next quarter, when local builders and developers are expected to launch new housing products

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Major property brokers saw their housing transactions pick up by double-digit percentage points in the first two months of this year and expect the market to fare better with the advent of spring sales season.

Evertrust Rehouse Co (永慶房屋), Taiwan’s largest broker by number of offices, in the first two months observed a 38 percent jump in housing deals from a year earlier, despite an economic slowdown.

Brokers generally combine January and February sales when analyzing the market to mute disruptions caused by the Lunar New Year holiday.

Buying interest gained noticeably after this year’s nine-day holiday, especially among first-time buyers and other people with real demand, Evertrust researcher Jay Hsieh (謝志傑) said.

The increase was seen nationwide, with Kaohsiung reporting the fastest advance of 54 percent year-on-year, thanks in part to Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu’s (韓國瑜) efforts to attract investors and tourists to the southern port city, Hsieh said.

Hsinchu ranked second with a 46 percent increase, followed by Taipei with a 40 percent gain and Taichung at 31 percent, he said.

Taoyuan saw a 24 percent increase in transactions, while New Taipei City and Tainan posted pickups of 23 percent and 21 percent respectively, Evertrust said.

Affordability also provided a catalyst in Kaohsiung, where mainstream transaction prices fell to between NT$4 million and NT$8 million (US$129,976 and US$259,951), the broker said.

Sinyi Realty Inc (信義房屋), the nation’s only listed broker, said that combined sales rose 12 percent in the first two months, driven mainly by revived buying interest in New Taipei City and Taoyuan.

New Taipei City’s Banciao (板橋), Sindian (新店), Sanchong (三重) and Sinjhuang (新莊) districts proved the most popular due to easy access to the MRT metropolitan rail system, Sinyi researcher Tseng Ching-der (曾敬德) said.

Buying interest also improved in the less popular, but more affordable Sansia District (三峽), despite its lack of MRT stations, Tseng said.

The market might gain further traction going forward after emerging strong from the slow season in the current quarter, the analyst said.

Local builders and developers are about to launch new housing products in the spring sales season, which begins on March 29 and spans all of next month.

Taiwan Realty Co (台灣房屋) also reported a 12.7 percent increase in property deals in the first two months from the same period last year.

Among major cities, New Taipei City posted the biggest advance of 18.7 percent, followed by Kaohsiung with a 15.9 percent gain and Hsinchu with a 14.8 percent pickup, Taiwan Realty said.

Real demand underpinned the improvement, but buyers are generally reluctant to match higher prices, Taiwan Realty spokeswoman Charlene Chang (張旭嵐) said.

“That means housing prices will be the decisive factor in deciding the market’s direction this year,” Chang said.

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