Taiwan’s property market transactions pick up in March

Taipei, Taiwan's property market showed signs of improving in March, but mainly due to an increase in business days that month and a low base in February, in which the Lunar New Year occurred, according to a survey conducted by the real estate magazine My Housing.

Due to the higher number of business days in March compared to February, which saw the six-day Lunar New Year holiday, the amount of housing launched, visits paid by potential buyers and other factors improved in the month, the survey showed.

Citing the survey, the magazine said the housing index for March rose 4.4 points from a month earlier to 32.4, flashing a "yellow-blue" light.

Under the system used by the survey, red indicates the market is overheating, yellow-red shows fast growth, green represents stable growth, yellow-blue signals sluggish growth, and blue indicates contraction.

The survey echoed statistics compiled by the governments of Taiwan's six largest cities -- Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung -- which showed residential and commercial property transactions grew sharply from February after the Lunar New Year holiday.

In particular, transactions of homes, shops and offices in Taipei, the most closely watched property market in Taiwan, even soared 180.9 percent from a month earlier to 3,775 units in March, while housing transactions in New Taipei, the most populous city in the country also jumped 74.4 percent month-on-month to 4,827 units.

My Housing magazine said all of the six sub-factors in the March housing index pointed to an increase.

The sub-indexes for the listing of pre-sale homes, the listing of newly-completed homes and the amount of property advertisement rose to 7.26, 4.16 and 4.18, respectively, in March from 6.17, 3.04 and 3.58 a month earlier, the survey showed.

In addition, the sub-indexes for home price negotiations, the number of visits by potential buyers and transactions also rose to 5.12, 6.53 and 5.16, respectively, in March, compared to February's 4.78, 5.76 and 4.69, the survey indicated.

Ho Shih-chang (???), a research manager at the magazine, said since property developers intensified efforts to unveil pre-sale projects in March, a traditional peak sales season in Taiwan, the value of the newly-unveiled pre-sale products even totaled NT$40 billion (US$1.37 billion), a recent high, to boost buying interest.

Ho added the amount of property advertisement in March rose 47 percent from a month earlier, in line with the increase in supply.

The analyst said the number of visits by potential buyers also grew about 20 percent from a month earlier in March with buying interest focusing on properties listed in Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Yilan, while the number of transaction deals in March also rose almost 10 percent from a month earlier.

But Ho cautioned that buyers still favored low-priced homes and many of them remained reluctant to make purchases, so it was too early to say when the local property market will recover.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel