TAIPEI (CNA) — The value of listings of new residential properties in Taiwan in 2019 is expected to grow about 5 percent from a year earlier, Lai Cheng-i (賴正鎰), head of the General Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of China, said on Dec. 26.

Lai, who is also chairman of Shining Building Business Co., said the value of listings of new homes in the local market is expected to hit NT$1.34 trillion (US$43.51 billion) in 2019, up 5.5 percent from 2018.

The growth in value of the new home listings in 2019 continues from 2018, when the value totaled NT$1.27 trillion for 85,750 units, up more than 40 percent from a year earlier, according to Lai.

The 2018 value of new home listings hit a new high since 2008, when a global financial crisis sent ripples through the local financial and property markets. The 2018 value even topped an earlier goal of NT$900 billion Lai set at the end of 2017.

While the growth rate in the value of new home listings in 2019 is expected to moderate from 2018, Lai said, the local property market is forecast to see stable growth.

Lai said there were signs that sales momentum of large and medium-sized homes started to accelerate in the second half of this year, indicting growing confidence in the local property market.

Home prices in Kaohsiung grew at a faster pace than other cities and counties in Taiwan in recent days as pro-business Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) was elected mayor of the city. Han took office on Dec. 25.

Ahead of the 2020 presidential election, Lai said, the government is expected to come up with measures to boost the economy to gain higher support, while consumer prices are expected to remain stable at a time of falling international crude oil prices.

Lai said these positive factors will not only benefit the overall economy but also the local property market.

Commenting on trade friction between the United States and China, Lai said he expects Beijing to go for more cooperation instead of confrontation with Washington, so the global economy could become more stable.

In addition, China, the second-largest economy in the world, could continue to ease its monetary policy, keep the value of the Chinese yuan low and expand domestic demand, which will benefit its economy and that of the world, Lai said.

By Wei Shu and Frances Huang