Wed, Aug 08, 2001 - Page 1 News List

Taipei real estate deals on the rise

PROPERTY MARKET A huge drop in real estate prices has led to a 10 percent rise in the number of property transactions in Taipei, indicating an improving market

By Richard Dobson  /  STAFF WRITER

The number of July property transactions in Greater Taipei rose by 10 percent year over year, helped by a huge drop in real estate prices, a local realtor reported yesterday.

According to a report by real estate firm Evertrust Rehouse, property prices in Greater Taipei for July fell by 20 percent year on year.

The figures have prompted forecasts of brighter days ahead for the nation's moribund real estate sector.

The higher transaction volume and lower prices have been spurred in part by the government assigning lower assessed values to the nation's real estate.

According to Evertrust, the government lowered assessed values by 2.39 percent on average in Greater Taipei this year, the largest drop in 10 years.

The estimates provide the only official guide to the current value of property around Taiwan. Assessed values generally reflect actual market prices, as property owners are normally reluctant to sell their holdings for less than what the government says it's worth.

Borling Huang (黃柏玲), managing director of Colliers Jardine Taiwan, attributed the government's lower assessed values in Taipei to desperation among the city's biggest landowners to raise cash fast.

Land is quite cheap at the moment because many owners are property rich but cash poor, Huang said.

"Most of Taipei's real estate is owned by several family groups ... [in these bad economic times] they have lots of land and property but a serious lack of cash," he added.

July marked the third consecutive month that the number of property transactions in Taipei has risen, according to Evertrust. The firm expects the real estate market to remain robust for the remainder of the year.

Facts and figures

* Property transactions for the month of July rose 10 percent over last year's figures.

* Property prices for the same month fell by 20 percent year over year.

* July marked the third consecutive month that the number of transactions in Taipei has risen.

* Market forecasters believe these figures indicate improved future conditions for the nation's real estate market.

Source: taipei times

Huang agreed that public confidence in the property market may pick up in the second half, though there's no "hard evidence" that a rebound is in the offing.

Huang said many potential buyers remain cautious about investing investing in property because they don't have enough faith in the new government and "prefer to wait and watch."

Evertrust in its report said that average property prices during July in Taipei City were NT$206,000 per ping, down 4 percent from the previous month. In Taipei County, the price per was NT$140,000, a drop of 6.9 percent from June.

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