Record number of new housing units on market

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Jul 31, 2013 - Page 13

Property developers and builders put a record high number of new housing units on the market last quarter, although the total value shrank mildly from a year earlier due to a focus on low-priced products, a report released yesterday showed.

New construction volume rose to a high of 20,998 units during the April-to-June period, rising nearly 20 percent from the preceding quarter and a year earlier, a quarterly report by Cathay Real Estate Development Co (國泰建設) and National Chengchi University’s Taiwan Real Estate Research Center (台灣房地產中心) said.

The new home projects may sell for NT$353.6 billion (US$11.78 billion), a 12.1 percent increase from the first quarter, but a 4 percent decline if compared with the year-ago figures, the report said.

Hua Ching-chun (花敬群), the survey leader and a finance and banking professor at Hsuan Chuang University, said the new home market has emerged from a slowdown last year thanks to continued confidence of a recovery on the part of suppliers and their refocus on relatively affordable housing.

New Taipei City (新北市) and parts of Taoyuan and Hsinchu counties led the recovery, accounting for a third of new construction volume each, Hua said.

“That is something noteworthy because Taipei used to drive the growth in the past,” Hua said.

Soaring housing prices and a lack of land supply limit the room for new home projects in the capital city, the academic said.

More than 72 percent of new homes in Taipei were priced at NT$800,000 per ping (3.3m2) or more, while products priced between NT$600,000 per ping and NT$800,000 per ping made up for 22.04 percent, the report found.

New homes with listing prics below NT$600,000 per ping constituted a tiny 5.42 percent, the report showed.

In New Taipei City, 5,992 housing units were launched last quarter, with more than half (57.76 percent) priced at NT$350,000 per ping (3.3m2) or more and the rest priced at between NT$200,000 per ping and NT$350,000 per ping, the report said.

New home construction in Taoyuan and Hsinchu reached 7,773 units because suppliers are upbeat about an influx of property funds to take advantage of strengthened infrastructure facilities in these areas, Hua said.

“The calculations make sense, but it remains to be seen if the large supply can be digested smoothly” since the government plans to revise the special sales levy in the fall and the US Federal Reserve is set to taper off its quantitative easing strategy, Hua said.