Tourism fuels boost in property prices

RELATIVE VALUES::With data showing prices on the rise, analysts said that multiple factors, such as location and floor plan, could affect pricing of similar-sized properties

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Mon, Mar 18, 2013 - Page 13

Prices of pre-owned storefronts in downtown Taipei rose to more than NT$6 million (US$201,599) per ping (3.3m2), indicating solid demand for retail space, despite unfavorable government policies that are constraining property transactions, real estate analysts said.

An old storefront measuring 8.6 ping on Kaifeng Street (開封街) near Taipei Main Station was sold for NT$53 million, or NT$6.14 million per ping, in January, according to the latest batch of property transaction data released by the Ministry of the Interior on Friday.

The data showed another 6.9-ping storefront on the adjacent Zhongxiao E Rd, Sec 1, was priced at NT$25.25 million, translating into NT$3.65 million per ping.

Evertrust Rehouse Co (永慶房屋), the nation’s largest broker by number of outlets, said the figures reflect the popularity of retail space in the city’s business district which has seen a rise in shopper numbers resulting from increased cross-strait tourism.

“Property prices in the district are likely to climb higher in the future as the opening of more small and medium-sized hotels will bring in more shoppers,” Evertrust commercial property analyst Cheng Chou-ho (鄭朝鶴) said.

Rental rates in the district have risen significantly over the past year, thanks to an inflow of Chinese tourists and backpackers, Cheng said.

Sinyi Realty Inc (信義房屋), Taiwan’s only listed broker, said the government data showed that similar-sized properties in the same area can have different values according to various factors.

The vicinity of public facilities, floor plans and distances to main roads, for example, can all affect a property’s worth, Sinyi broker Lin Ting-shun (林庭瑄) said.

“It is unrealistic to expect equal pricing for properties in the same neighborhood as evidenced by the official figures,” Lin said.

Three storefronts on Roosevelt Rd Sec 4 across from National Taiwan University were sold for NT$135 million, NT$95.28 million and NT$87.12 million respectively, interior ministry data showed.

These transactions lend support to strong demand for retail space in popular locations, Sinyi Realty researcher Tseng Chin-der (曾敬德) said, after storefronts in central business districts proved that prices of more than NT$3 million per ping are a reality.

Altogether, the ministry has posted online data regarding more than 180,000 property deals across residential, commercial and leasing sectors since Oct. 16 last year.

The latest data showed only one residential housing transaction of more than NT$100 million, suggesting sluggish trading in luxury homes after the central bank tightened credit control for houses worth NT$80 million and more, Taiwan Realty Co (台灣房屋) said.