Housing transactions in the nation’s six special municipalities soared 37.5 percent last month from a year earlier as buying interests recovered somewhat due to a stabilizing economy and a reduction in political rhetoric from policymakers, analysts said yesterday.
Deals totaled 15,656 units in the six municipalities despite fewer working days in the month, according to data released by the respective municipal governments on their Web sites on Thursday.
“Some buyers, especially those with real demand, decided to end their sitting on the sidelines after the government took action to lower holding costs and encourage urban renewal,” Sinyi Realty Inc (信義房屋) researcher Tseng Ching-der (曾進德) said by telephone.
The Taipei City Government has trimmed extra taxes on luxury homes — or units built with expensive materials and located in prime locations — which had virtually frozen luxury home transactions in recent years.
The actual pace of rebound could be faster if one takes the shorter Lunar New Year holiday out of the calculations, Tseng said.
New Taipei City reported the steepest rebound, 70.1 percent to 4,984 units, as buyers achieved price concessions and builders delivered presale housing projects in Tamsui (淡水), Banciao (板橋) and Sinjhuang (新莊) districts, Evertrust Rehouse Co (永慶房屋) manager Jay Hsieh (謝志傑) said.
Transactions in Tainan increased 39.1 percent to 1,445 units and the figures gained 32.3 percent to 2,516 units in Taoyuan, the data showed.
Taichung saw a pickup of 27 percent to 2,897 units, while Kaohsiung posted a 20.4 percent rise to 2,518 units.
Transactions in Taipei rose 24.5 percent to 1,763 units, data showed.
The figures represented declines of between 9.4 percent and 23.4 percent if compared with December last year, the traditional high sales season, Hsieh said.
However, it would be premature to take the rebound for a solid recovery, as most buyers are demanding more price concessions before making a deal, he said.
More than 100,000 new houses will join the market this year, adding correction pressures on the part of sellers, Evertrust said.
As expected, overall housing transactions nationwide slumped 16.1 percent to a record low of 245,000 units for the whole of last year, Ministry of the Interior data showed.
Last year, Taipei fared the poorest measured by the pace of retreat at 28.1 percent, followed by Taichung at 25.98 percent and Tainan at 21.52 percent, government statistics showed.
“Unaffordability remains a major concern in the capital city and elsewhere,” H&B Realty Co (住商不動產) researcher Jessica Hsu (徐佳馨) said.
Keelung proved the only exception, with transactions growing 57.7 percent to 8,926 units last year.
A longstanding low base contributed to the noticeable advancement in the port city, Hsu said.
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