Housing transactions last month soared from a year earlier, although the deals held steady compared with July’s, major property brokers said yesterday, attributing the results to real demand and low interest rates.
Last month’s showings came even though Ghost Month started on Aug. 19 and is to last through Sept. 16. Taiwanese tend to avoid buying properties during the annual lunar Ghost Month, which is considered inauspicious for completing real-estate transactions, business openings, getting married and many other activities.
Evertrust Rehouse Co (永慶房屋), the nation’s largest real-estate broker by the number of offices, said its tallies showed a 58 percent spike in property deals nationwide, as people regained confidence in the property market given that Taiwan appears to have the COVID-19 outbreak well under control.
Photo: Ann Wang, Reuters
“Real demand underpinned 60 to 70 percent of the deals,” Evertrust Rehouse spokesman Jay Hsieh (謝志傑) said, adding that investment and asset allocation needs also contributed 20 percent after staying on the sidelines for several years.
Record-low interest and ample liquidity probably accounted for the resurgence in interest, Hsieh said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted central banks around the world to cut interest rates to ultra-low levels or negative territory to avert a credit crunch and support economic growth.
The strategy appeared to be effective in driving partial idle money from savings deposits to the property market, Hsieh said.
Sinyi Realty Inc (信義房屋), the nation’s sole listed broker, said it observed a 33 percent bounce in property transactions as of Sunday, bucking the slow seasonality.
People who might have decided to wait and see during Ghost Month in previous years turned active this year, Sinyi research manager Tseng Ching-der (曾進德) said.
Travel bans also lent support, as they allow Taiwanese to spend more time looking for houses rather than vacationing abroad, he said.
The improvement was most evident in Taipei, where property transactions rose 43 percent from a year earlier on the back of demand from first-time home buyers and people seeking to relocate, Sinyi’s statistics showed.
Apartments priced from the NT$10 million to NT$15 million (US$338,685 to US$508,027) as well as those in the NT$20 million to NT$30 million range are the most popular, Tseng said.
Chinatrust Real Estate Co (中信房屋) said its business held steady last month without the usual seasonal decline caused by Ghost Month, thanks to pent-up demand and low borrowing costs.
The absence of typhoons also helped shore up buying interest, it said.
Buying interest picked up about 20 percent last month from a year earlier, all three firms said, but added that the pandemic would remain a downside risk for the rest of this year.
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