Housing transactions last month totaled 21,686 units in the six special municipalities, an 8.1 percent month-on-month fall as some buyers avoided closing deals in Ghost Month, while others demanded bigger price concessions, brokers said.
However, that was a 24.6 percent increase from August last year, a sign that the property market has emerged from disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, although the virus situation continues to cloud the economic scene at home and abroad.
“For better or worse, some Taiwanese stand by the tradition not to transact during Ghost Month, which is from Aug. 19 to Sept. 16 this year,” Sinyi Realty Inc (信義房屋) research manager Tseng Ching-der (曾敬德) said.
The tradition accounted for the sequential fall in transactions last month, while the year-on-year increase was due to pent-up demand after the pandemic was brought under control in Taiwan, Tseng said.
Buying interest rose significantly in May and has remained healthy, Tseng said.
Taichung was the only exception after it reported 4,136 deals, a 1.9 percent advance from a month earlier, as developers wrapped up the construction of presale projects and turned over ownership to buyers, Taiwan Realty Co (台灣房屋) said.
Taichung has experienced an influx of buyers attracted by improving infrastructure facilities, such as a mass rapid transit system, and the relative affordability of property, the broker said.
Prospective buyers in other municipalities began to show restraint after sellers raised prices, encouraged by excessive liquidity and low interest rates, Taiwan Realty spokeswoman Charlene Chang (張旭嵐) said.
“Buyers generally do not want to pay more, even though they want to own a home, which is reasonable in light of the lingering virus outbreak,” Chang said.
Taipei recorded the biggest monthly retreat last month, 14.3 percent to 2,477 transactions, followed by Tainan’s 11.8 percent decline to 1,982 deals and Kaohsiung’s 11.4 percent fall to 3,219 transactions, local government data showed.
The number of deals in Taoyuan fell 9.5 percent to 4,187, while those in New Taipei City decreased by 7.3 percent to 5,694 transactions.
In the first eight months of the year, housing transactions in the six special municipalities rose 1.8 percent to 153,225 units and the recovery is expected to accelerate with the advent of the high season, Sinyi Realty said.
In the absence of major shocks, housing transactions for the whole year could surpass the 300,000 units recorded last year, challenging a six-year high, Tseng said.
Local companies shifting their production facilities back to Taiwan from China is also lending support to the property market, Tseng and other analysts have said.
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