Real estate market will continue boom next year: analysts

CNA , TAIPEI

Mon, Dec 22, 2003 - Page 10

Taiwan's real estate market will remain bullish for the coming year as the end of the year approaches, business sources forecast yesterday.

Thanks to an economic recovery taking place both at home and abroad, business sources said the domestic real estate sector will continue its boom into njext year, despite some uncertainties related to the presidential election and interest rates.

They said they are confident that the ailing market over the past decade will fully regain its momentum in the coming year, evidenced in that consumer confidence and business conditions have been greatly improved.

According to statistics compiled by the Ministry of the Interior, house transfer dealings for the whole of this year are expected to total around 334,000, slightly up by 4.4 percent over last year's level.

The growth shows that buying has made a noticeable comeback, despite the marked impact of SARS on business in the first half of the year, the sources noted.

Chang Hsin-min, an assistant manager of the Sinyi Realty Estate Inc, attributed the good performance to a "three lows" situation -- low house prices, low bank interest rates and a 50-percent cut in land value increment tax, in addition to the preferential loans worth NT$280 million (US$8.24 billion) gradually released by banks since August in line with government policy.

Although some uncertainties remain at home and in the international arena, Chang said an improved economy has anticipated a booming market next year, particularly in the aftermath of the March presidential election, even if the preferential loans are used up or the 50-percent discount in land value increment tax is canceled.

The domestic real estate market has managed to gain a new lease on life amid a recession in recent years and a bullish market is expect to set off next year, as long as war does not erupt across the Taiwan Strait following the presidential race and as long as the stock market continues to grow, he predicted.

An investigation by Sinyi Realty Estate Inc shows that the domestic real estate market has the potential to expand by between 5 percent and 10 percent over the next year in terms of transaction numbers and house prices.