TAIPEI (CNA) — The property market in northern Taiwan continued to show weakness in January with an index gauging market conditions falling and pointing to contraction, according to a survey by real estate magazine My Housing.
According to the survey, the housing index for northern Taiwan flashed a “blue light,” signaling contraction, for the sixth consecutive month in January after the index fell from 31.7 points a month earlier to 27.1.
With only one out of the six factors in the index rising in January, the latest figure dipped to its lowest since January 2017, when the index stood at 25.6.
Under the magazine’s color-coded system, a red light indicates overheating, yellow-red shows fast growth, green represents stable growth, yellow-blue signals sluggish growth, and blue indicates contraction.
The index covers major counties and cities in northern Taiwan such as Taipei, New Taipei, Keelung, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, and Yilan, which account for more than 50 percent of total residential and commercial property transactions in the country.
Ho Shih-chang (何世昌), a research manager at the magazine, said in a statement that January was a traditionally slow season for the property market in northern Taiwan so property developers appeared reluctant to put up newly-built residential property and houses in presale projects for sale.
The listings of newly-built homes on the market, Ho said, stood at about 200 units in January, the lowest for two years.
Ho said such stagnation is continuing into February before the peak season in late March prompts property developers to unveil homes for sale, causing more potential buyers to enter the market.
He said it is possible the property market will then climb out of the “blue light” category with an index below 32 points.
Of the six factors in the January index, only the index on home price negotiations stayed unchanged from a month earlier at 5.46 points, the survey found.
In contrast, the indexes for the other five factors all moved lower with the indexes on listings of newly built residential property, listings of presale residential property projects, advertising for housing sales, number of visits by potential buyers, and transactions falling from 7.63, 4.44, 4.48, 5.00 and 4.69, respectively, in December to 6.17, 2.76, 3.88, 4.62 and 4.22 in January, the survey showed.
Ho said property advertising fell 35 percent from a month earlier in January in the wake of lower buying interest.
With Hsinchu and Taoyuan performing relatively well, the fall in property advertising and the number of visits by potential buyers was even more pronounced in other counties and cities in northern Taiwan.
By Wei Shu and Frances Huang