Potential home buyers increase by 50%: agencies

By Camaron kao ,The China Post

After a gloomy January in the property market, statistics reported by housing agencies suggest that the property market in Taiwan’s six major municipalities is on the rise. According to housing agencies, the number of buyers, trade volume, and selling prices are all on the rise this month compared to January. Days needed for closing a deal also decreased since January, said housing agencies. From Gloomy to Rising Last month, the property market remained gloomy due to three main reasons: First, the luxury tax imposes on homes a 10- to 15-percent tax if the home is passed from one name to another in a period of less than two years, which makes property a less lucrative object for speculative activities.

Second, the Greek debt crisis made people keep more money in their own pockets instead of putting it into the market. Third, the presidential election in January resulted in more uncertainty in the local property market. Additionally, the recent bailout plan reduced the risk from the Greek debt crisis. Data from Housing Agencies The Yungching housing agency said that after the presidential election, the number of people who are looking to purchase homes increased by 50 percent and the number of people making an offer increased by 15 percent. More people were willing to get in the market after the presidential election. U-trust housing agency stated that the trade volume of housing property from Feb. 1 to Feb. 20 in six cities was higher than the trade volume from Jan. 1 to Jan. 20. Trade volume in Taichung city increased by 27.8 percent — the most within the six cities — followed by 20.6 percent in New Taipei City. Trade volume in Taipei and Tainan increased by approximately 10 percent. Trade volume in Kaohsiung and Taoyuan increased by 7.2 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively. HB housing suggested that in Taipei, New Taipei City, Taichung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung, days required to close a deal all decreased. It took 75.1 days for a house to be sold in Taichung from Feb. 1 to Feb. 20, down from 88.2 days from Jan. 1 to Jan. 20. It took 75.4 days for a house to be sold in Taipei from Feb. 1 to Feb. 20, down from 85.5 days from Jan. 1 to Jan. 20. Housing website www.housefun.com.tw stated that the average price offered by house sellers rose in January despite the gloomy property market. The average selling price of a house in Taipei rose from NT$29.36 million (US$978,667) in December to NT$29.89 million (US$996,333) in January. The average selling price in New Taipei City rose from NT$13.04 million (US$434,667) to NT$13.46 million (US$448,667). The average selling price in Taoyuan rose from NT$8.23 million (US$274,333) to NT$ 8.54 million (US$284,667). Only in Hsinchu and Kaohsiung did offers for properties decrease, dropping by an average of NT$10,000 (US$333) to NT$70,000 (US$2,333). HB housing also suggested that from January to February in Daan, Zhongzheng, Xinyi and Songshan districts the average price offered by home sellers decreased in spite of the rising prices offered by sellers in other districts in Taipei. HB housing said that this is due to the fact that in June the luxury tax will be implemented for a period one year in Taiwan. Therefore, many houses will be exempt from the luxury tax in June. Some buyers are offering their houses now at a lower price and are willing to delay the transfer of their homes until June to avoid the expected increase in property supplies in June.