Housing transactions in the six special municipalities fell 11.2 percent sequentially last month to 22,439 units, as buyers turned more cautious amid higher interest rates and unfavorable government policies, real-estate brokers said on Monday.
The figure represented a 0.9 percent increase compared with the same period last year, based on data compiled by the six local governments.
Taipei, Taoyuan, Tainan and Kaohsiung all reported double-percentage declines to 2,747, 3,687, 1,933 and 3,389 units respectively last month, when the Tomb Sweeping Day holiday cut working days by three, Sinyi Realty Inc (信義房屋) research manager Tseng Ching-der (曾敬德) said in a press release.
An interest rate hike of 0.25 percentage points in March and the Executive Yuan’s approval of a proposal to heavily fine “dishonest marketing practices” affected sentiment, Tseng said.
The central bank on March 17 raised interest rates by 25 basis points and is widely believed to be planning further tightening measures like its peers around the world to combat inflation.
Consumer prices have climbed above the 2 percent alert level for seven straight months and might not come down until the second half of the year, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics has said.
Property transfers in New Taipei City were relatively resilient, posting a 5 percent decline to 6,113 units, Tseng said, adding that Taichung posted an 8 percent fall to 4,570 units.
Tseng voiced concern that the market would worsen this month, as people avoid going out after daily COVID-19 cases hit more than 20,000 yesterday.
A recovery is unlikely until the infection numbers stabilize, he said.
Health authorities have forecast that millions of Taiwanese would be infected before the outbreak can be brought under control, likely in the middle of next month.
In the first four months of the year, housing transactions in the six special municipalities hit a nine-year high of 87,360 units, up 3.2 percent from a year earlier, data showed.
That was led by increases of 5.3 percent in New Taipei City, 4.9 percent in Taichung, 4.6 percent in Tainan and 2.8 percent in Kaohsiung, the data showed.
Taipei reported a minimal increase of 0.4 percent but Taoyuan saw a 0.3 percent decrease, the data showed.
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