Fri, Jan 10, 2020 - Page 12 News List

Developer seeks big sales as buyer interest climbs

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Major developer Shining Building Business Co (鄉林建設) aims to improve its profits this year as buyer interest picks up, aided by low interest rates and capital repatriation.

The Taichung-based builder, which owns luxury hotel brand Lalu (涵碧樓) in Taiwan and China, posted revenue that soared 2.4 times to NT$2.69 billion (US$89.64 million) in November last year, easing to 4.9 percent a cumulative decline to revenue over the first 11 months, from more than 30 percent in the prior months, company data showed.

This means that the company had losses of NT$0.91 per share in the first three quarters of last year, even though two presale projects, in Taichung and New Taipei City’s Sinjhuang District (新莊), sold out last year, Shining chairman Lai Cheng-yi (賴正鎰) said.

“We have turned over a substantial number of unsold houses, with less than 10 percent on hand in various parts of Taiwan,” Lai told a media briefing in Taipei.

Builders and developers cannot realize profits until new projects are completed and turned over to customers.

Presale and new housing projects last year rose to a record NT$1.45 trillion nationwide and could climb 6 percent higher this year, as economic fundamentals improve and borrowing costs remain low, said Lai, who is also chairman of the General Chamber of Commerce (全國商業總會).

“We expect the market to receive support from companies and investors wiring retained earnings and other funds home, as stricter accounting rules abroad might mean heavier income taxes,” Lai said.

Local firms returning from China as part of a supply-chain realignment should buoy the residential property market, in addition to demand for office and factory space, Lai said.

Housing prices have recovered from years of corrections, which once ran as deep as 15 percent, Lai added.

The company is seeking to take advantage of the uptrend and to introduce new housing projects in Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan and Taichung valued at a combined NT$22.1 billion over the next three years, Lai said.

Shining also aims to launch NT$47 billion of projects in China, as the company increasingly shifts its focus across the Taiwan Strait, he said.

Liu An-kong (劉安康), who is responsible for the market in northern Taiwan, said that prospective buyers have regained interest in apartments of 30 to 60 ping (99m2 to 198m2) since the second half of last year as they seek to accommodate family needs.

Small apartments of at most 20 ping dominated the market over the past few years due to investors seeking rental income and other buyers’ lack of confidence, Liu said.

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