New housing projects in northern Taiwan for the so-called “May 20 sales season” — which falls between May 15 and June 15 — are estimated to total NT$221.19 billion (US$7.14 billion), a 20 percent decline from a year earlier, as developers turned cautious because of political and economic uncertainty ahead, the Chinese-language Housing Monthly (住展雜誌) said on Thursday.
Tensions over trade disputes abroad and the presidential primaries at home weakened confidence on the part of developers, the property publication’s research manager Ho Shih-chang (何世昌) said, citing an annual survey.
Small to medium-sized apartments dominated the market, as affordability is a problem for units bigger than 70 ping (231m2), Ho said.
New Taipei City led the market with new housing projects valued at NT$85 billion, as property funds continued to flow to Banciao (板橋), Sindian (新店), Yonghe (永和) and Jhonghe (中和) to take advantage of eased rezoning regulations, he said, adding that improved transportation and relatively affordable prices compared with Taipei have lent support to New Taipei City’s popularity.
New projects in Taipei are estimated to have dropped to NT$35.39 billion as developers put off launches of luxury apartments, the report said.
A majority of the new projects are in the suburban districts of Beitou (北投) and Nangang (南港), as it is difficult to find land in the city center, it said.
Taoyuan continued to gain strength, with new housing projects estimated to hit NT$64 billion, the survey showed. Developers are upbeat about housing in Gueishan District (龜山) and other areas with quick access to the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport MRT System.
In Hsinchu, Jhubei City (竹北) has again captured buyers’ attention, with NT$11 billion in new housing projects, thanks to its proximity to the Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區), the survey said.
A conservative marketing strategy is positive for developers, giving them more room to digest unsold inventory, Ho said.
The uncertainty did not weigh on commercial property, and land deals soared 70 percent from a year earlier to NT$119.3 billion in the first four months of the year, international property broker CBRE said.
Local developers have built up their land inventory this year, with several large land transactions in New Taipei City taking place, it said.
Companies in different sectors also played a part, acquiring large industrial plots in Taoyuan and Taichung to meet expansion needs, CBRE said.
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