Housing transactions in Taiwan’s six major cities rebound

Transactions of residential and commercial property in six special municipalities in Taiwan staged a rebound in the first 26 days of October from the same period last month after a 6 to 24 percent month-on-month decline in September, according statistics compiled by real estate agencies.

The data released by Sinyi Realty Inc. (????) showed that transactions of homes, shops and offices in the six cities -- Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung -- as a whole during the 26-day period rose 1.6 percent to 22 percent from a month earlier.

Citing the data, Tseng Ching-der (???), a research manager with Sinyi Realty, said that the increase in transactions was partly due to the improved weather conditions in October. In September, a series of typhoons cut the number of business days and kept potential buyers from hunting for homes.

More importantly, Tseng said that the local property market has entered a traditional peak season with buying interest on the rise, which has boosted housing sales.

Housing transactions in Taipei, the most closely watched property market in Taiwan, gained 11 percent month-on-month in the 26 days, with the average selling price hitting NT$600,000 (US$18,987) per ping (one ping equals 3.3 square meters), the statistics showed.

In New Taipei, the most populous city in the country, transactions of residential and commercial property rose 22 percent from a month earlier with the average selling price at NT$336,000 per ping, the data indicated.

Housing transactions in Taoyuan and Taichung rose 8 percent and 1.6 percent month-on-month, respectively, during the 26 days, while sales in Kaohsiung stayed unchanged from a month earlier and transactions in Tainan fell 4 percent from a month earlier, according to the data.

Tseng said that the impact resulting from a new tax reform scheme designed to rein in home prices seemed to be fading, which prompted potential home buyers to jump into the market in October.

The new tax rules took effect on Jan. 1, aiming to curb property market speculation by slapping a capital gains tax of up to 45 percent on people who sell their commercial or residential property within a certain period of time from the date of purchase.

Tseng said it is unlikely that the government will come up with new measures to curb speculation in the local property market any time soon, so the real estate market could hit bottom in the short term. But the analyst said that since market sentiment remained weak, a significant rebound is not expected.

For its part, H&B Business Group (?????), another leading property sales agency in Taiwan, released its own statistics, saying that housing transactions in the entire Taiwan market gained 6.8 percent from a month earlier during the first 26 days of October.

H&B said that housing sales in New Taipei, Taoyuan and Taipei rose 22.4 percent, 19.9 percent and 9.0 percent, respectively, in the 26 days. Property transactions in Kaohsiung and Taichung also gained 4.0 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively, while sales in Tainan fell 13.0 percent.

The property sales agency said that the Tainan property market had been hit by an increase in housing tax imposed by the city government.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel