Wed, Mar 06, 2019 - Page 12 News List

Slow and steady climb continues for property deals

‘HAN TIDE’:Analysts attributed a 10% annual increase in Kaohsiung deals and a 20% to 30% spike in interest from northern Taiwan to its new mayor

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Property transactions in the first two months of this year rose 3 percent annually in the six special municipalities as the market continued a slow but steady recovery, government data showed.

The number of property transactions in Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung totaled 31,569 in January and last month, according to data released by local governments.

The improvement was most evident in Kaohsiung, with a 10 percent annual increase to 5,496 deals, which analysts attributed to Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu’s (韓國瑜) efforts to attract tourists and investors to the city.

“Property transactions in Kaohsiung have benefited from Han’s popularity, widely referred to as the ‘Han tide,’ that might help boost trading going forward in light of a surge in buying interest,” Eastern Realty Co (東森房屋) manager Layla Yu (于靜芳) said.

Interest from potential buyers in northern Taiwan for small apartments and storefronts in Kaohsiung has risen 20 to 30 percent since Han’s election on Nov. 24 last year, Yu said.

Many people plan to take advantage of large crowds at night markets and festivals organized by the local government, she added.

New Taipei City ranked second with a 5 percent increase to 8,086 deals, as relative affordability continued to underpin relocation needs, Sinyi Realty Inc (信義房屋) said.

People who cannot afford to buy an apartment in Taipei have been moving to New Taipei City over the past few years, drawn by improving infrastructure, especially the MRT system, which makes commuting easy and fast, Sinyi researcher Tseng Ching-der (曾進德) said.

The completion of presale housing projects also lent support to transactions in New Taipei City, Tseng said.

Housing deals inched up 1 percent to 3,716 in Taipei and remained virtually unchanged in the other municipalities.

Brokers generally combine sales in the first two months when analyzing the market to subdue disruptions caused by the Lunar New Year holiday.

The number of transactions reached 4,861 in Taoyuan, 6,061 in Taichung and 3,349 in Tainan.

The figures suggest a stable market, but sellers should not be inflexible over pricing differences, Evertrust Rehouse Co (永慶房屋) spokesman Jay Hsieh (謝志傑) said.

“Transactions would stall in the absence of some price corrections now that investors have fled the market and people with real demand are willing to wait,” Hsieh said.

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