Housing transactions soar year-on-year in February

Taipei--Transactions of residential and commercial property for February in the six metropolitan areas in Taiwan soared after consolidating over the past three years, according to government statistics.

Data released by the local governments of Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung show that the aggregate transactions of homes, offices and shops in the six largest metropolitan areas in Taiwan rose 66 percent from a year earlier to 12,300 units in February.

In the first two months of this year, housing transactions in the six cities gained almost 50 percent from a year earlier to 27,900 units, the data shows.

While market analysts said that transactions could continue to increase for the rest of the first quarter of this year after consolidation, property prices are unlikely to follow suit, as investors remain cautious, with sentiment impacted by a recent slow market.

In 2016, transactions of residential and commercial property totaled 245,396 units, a fall of 16.1 percent from the 292,550 units sold in 2015. The 2016 figure was the lowest since 2001, when there were 259,494 housing transactions.

In February, housing sales in New Taipei, the most populous municipality in Taiwan, jumped 95 percent to 3,143 units on a relatively low comparison base over the same period of last year.

Tseng Ching-der (???), a research manager with Sinyi Realty Inc. (????), said the New Taipei market benefited from buying by many consumers who reside in the city but work in neighboring Taipei.

Housing transactions in Taichung in central Taiwan for February gained 74.8 percent from a year earlier to 2,461 units, sales in Kaohsiung in the south gained almost 70 percent to 2,129 units, and transactions in Taoyuan in northern Taiwan rose 56.7 percent to 1,998 units, the government figures show.

The government data also indicates that housing sales in Tainan in southern Taiwan added 37.7 percent from a year earlier to 1,085 units in February, and transactions in Taipei, the most closely watched property market in the country, rose 35.7 percent year-on-year to 1,441 units.

Tseng said that home prices could find short-term support, but there have been no signs that prices will stage a significant rebound any time soon.

According to Sinyi Realty, the home price index, which gauged the price trend in Taipei for January, fell 0.2 percent from a month earlier and dropped 2.5 percent from a year earlier.

In New Taipei, the January home price index dropped 1.6 percent from a month earlier and also lost 2.7 percent from a year earlier, the Sinly Realty data shows.

Hsu Chia-hsin (???), head of research at H&B Business Group (?????), said that many home sellers have become willing to cut prices in a bid to speed up the pace of striking deals, so that there is room for home prices to fall further.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel