Fri, May 03, 2019 - Page 12 News List

Builders start new projects as demand healthy, costs down

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Developers last quarter launched NT$223.2 billion (US$7.22 billion) of presale and new housing projects, up 30.5 percent from a year earlier, as real demand and low borrowing costs offset concerns over an economic slowdown, a survey by Cathay Real Estate Development Co (國泰建設) showed.

The US Federal Reserve has indicated plans to halt monetary tightening, while other central banks have stood by their loose monetary policies to support economic growth, the quarterly survey said.

Taiwan’s monetary policymaker did the same in March, leaving the benchmark rediscount rate unchanged at 1.375 percent, as the US-China trade dispute weakened exports, it said.

Low interest rates keep mortgage burdens steady, growing confidence on the part of developers to introduce new projects at higher prices, it said.

Apartments comprised 91 percent of the new offerings, with mainstream products priced at NT$12.77 million per unit, or NT$272,400 per ping (3.3m2), it found.

That represented a 1.51 percent increase from the previous quarter, while sales rates picked up 2.22 percent, it said.

Presale and new apartments cost more at NT$797,300 per ping in Taipei and NT$367,800 per ping in New Taipei City from the fourth quarter last year, but dropped slightly by 1.08 percent and 0.67 percent from three months earlier respectively, the survey showed.

Home prices climbed between 0.11 percent and 4.58 percent in Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung, Cathay Real Estate said, adding that room for bargaining added 0.82 percentage points to 15.24 percent.

The firm gave a cautious view about the market going forward.

Sales rates in northern Taiwan remained sluggish, compared with a boom in 2013 and 2014, but the figures in central and southern Taiwan are approaching a peak, it said.

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