Property transactions decline

EXTERNAL FACTORS::An analyst attributed the decline in housing deals to bad weather as torrential rains nationwide stranded prospective buyers and disrupted some deals

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Mon, Sep 02, 2013 - Page 13

Major home brokers reported a slowdown in business volume, but steady prices last month from July as the reported tapering of quantitative easing in the US and talks by Taiwan’s government to tighten the special sales levy sidelined buyers.

Evertrust Rehouse Co (永慶房屋), the nation’s largest real estate agency by number of offices, saw its property deals decline 16 percent in Taipei and 2 percent in New Taipei City (新北市) last month.

The company attributed the decline to global market volatility as well as reports of unfavorable policies at home.

“The government’s plan to toughen the special sales levy and weaker-than-expected GDP growth decreased home-purchasing interest,” Evertrust researcher Andy Huang (黃舒衛) said in a report.

The trend may weigh on the property market in the short term, but improving economic fundamentals globally point to a healthy outlook in the long run, Huang said.

Housing transactions fell 7 percent in Greater Taichung and Greater Kaohsiung last month although central and southern regions fared better than northern regions, the report said.

Self-occupancy upheld the market, as first-time buyers and relocation needs accounted for 23 percent and 28 percent of the transactions respectively, the report said.

Still, investment needs drove a significant 34 percent of the deals, although they have been declining for two months running, the report said.

Taiwan Realty Co (台灣房屋) reported a 12.2 percent decline in Taipei and 10.5 percent in New Taipei City, and 8.6 percent in Greater Kaohsiung in terms of transactions last month, compared with July, the broker said in a report.

Taiwan Realty manager Jack Chou (周鶴鳴) attributed the decline to bad weather as torrential rains nationwide stranded prospective buyers and disrupted deals.

Home sales held steady in Taoyuan and Hsinchu counties and Greater Taichung since they were less exposed to heavy rains and strong storms last month, the report said.

H&B Realty Co (住商不動產), the nation’s largest by number of franchises, reported a monthly drop of 4.5 percent in overall home deals last month, led by Taipei with a 5.2 percent contraction.

Trading gained momentum in other areas, with New Taipei City posting a 1.9 percent increase, Greater Taichung a 15.2 percent gain and Greater Kaohsiung a 12 percent growth, the report said.

Sinyi Realty Inc (信義房屋), the nation’s only listed broker, emerged as the best performer with flat sales last month, the company’s report said.

The company saw its transactions rise 1.4 percent in Taipei last month, 17.1 percent in New Taipei City and 15.6 percent in Greater Tainan thanks to sustained popularity of relatively affordable housing, the report said.

Home trading weakened 13.2 percent in Taoyuan County, 11.4 percent in Greater Taichung, but advanced 6.7 percent in Greater Kaohsiung, the report said.

“Fair pricing is the key to transactions as evidenced by the figures,” Sinyi researcher Stanley Su (蘇啟榮) said.