Presale and new housing projects last quarter totaled NT$245.6 billion (US$8.73 billion), tumbling 27 percent from three months earlier as unfavorable policy measures and a COVID-19 outbreak sidelined developers, although asking prices remained resilient, a Cathay Real Estate Development Co (國泰建設) survey said yesterday.
The volume was a 35.8 percent retreat from the same period last year as two waves of selective credit controls and spikes in the number of local COVID-19 infections dampened transactions, the survey said.
The slowdown arose despite encouraging economic fundamentals, with Taiwan’s GDP expanding 7.47 percent in the second quarter and the central bank keeping interest rates at a record low, Cathay Real Estate said.
Low borrowing costs have eased mortgage burdens, which explains why asking prices nationwide averaged NT$307,100 per ping (3.3m2), declining a mere 0.31 percent from the previous quarter, the Taipei-based developer said.
Prices averaged NT$909,300 per ping for new homes in Taipei and NT$405,000 in New Taipei City, the survey said, adding that new houses averaged NT$237,000 to NT$272,200 per ping in Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung.
Room for negotiating over prices was 13.45 percent nationwide, unchanged from the preceding quarter, as developers and builders refused to budge, unfazed by stiff property tax hikes that apply to transfers of presale project contracts, it said.
Price concessions were more evident in Taoyuan (15.15 percent) and Taichung (14.87 percent), Cathay Real Estate said.
The 30-day sales rate dropped 0.26 percentage points to 11.45 percent, the company said.
Hsinchu county and city had the highest rate at 22.23 percent, while it was 8.26 percent in Taoyuan, the survey said.
Apartments that cost about NT$13.78 million were the most popular among buyers, it said.
The transaction index was 240.33, shrinking 20.44 percent from three months earlier, dragged by lackluster showings in Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Taichung and Kaohsiung, it said.
The retreat was sharpest in Kaohsiung at 59.71 percent, followed by Taoyuan (26.29 percent) and Taipei (25 percent), the survey said.
Builders in Kaohsiung likely pushed back new product launches, while poor locations accounted for the low sales rates in Taichung, it said.
However, Hsinchu and Tainan bucked the trend with advances of 58.45 and 48.27 percent respectively, with healthy real demand supporting sales rates, it said.
In general, the nationwide level 3 COVID-19 alert made house-hunting inconvenient, with builders and brokers seeking to control operating costs by avoiding promotional activities, it said.
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