Presale and newly completed housing projects in northern Taiwan surged nearly 40 percent to NT$561.56 billion (US$18.38 billion) in the first half of this year, a survey by the Chinese-language Housing Monthly (住展雜誌) showed.
The first-half figure is the highest in four years, ending three straight years of decline for the same period, it said.
The pickup reflected an improvement in sentiment on the part of developers and builders, which sought to take advantage of an apparent recovery, as evidenced by the increase in housing transactions, it said.
However, Housing Monthly research manager Ho Shih-chang (何世昌) raised doubts whether demand is strong enough to absorb the sharp increase in supply, with new construction volume for the whole year forecast to surpass the NT$1 trillion mark.
Several developers felt it was time to roll out new housing projects after acquiring building permits ahead of the introduction of stricter floor area rules, Ho said.
Presale and newly completed housing projects in Taipei totaled NT$150.17 billion in the first half, up 44 percent from a year earlier, the survey found.
Most of the new projects are concentrated in the capital’s Daan (大安), Zhongzheng (中正), Neihu (內湖), Beitou (北投) and Wenshan (文山) districts, it said.
The volume is forecast to climb higher in the second half of the year, if high-profile luxury home projects enter the market as scheduled, Ho said, referring to Taozhu Garden (陶朱隱園) in Xinyi District (信義).
New Taipei City saw NT$198.65 billion in presale and newly completed housing in the first six months of the year, a modest 7 percent increase from a year earlier, as developers sought to take advantage of the business-linked urban rezoning in Tucheng (土城), Sinjhuang (新莊) and Sijhih (汐止) districts, the survey found.
Presale and newly completed housing totaled NT$132.97 billion in Taoyuan, a 131 percent spike from a year earlier, driven by renewed interest in developments in Taoyuan (桃園), Bade (八德) and Lujhu (蘆竹) districts, it said.
Hsinchu recorded a 67 percent gain in new construction volume from a year earlier, with a majority of the projects clustered in the Jhudong (竹東) and Jhubei (竹北) areas, according to the survey.
Ho said he is increasingly pessimistic about transactions going forward as sales rates remain low at 30 to 40 percent, while sellers have grown tough about pricing strategies, encouraged by a stable economy.
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