Residential and commercial property transactions in Taiwan’s six special municipalities last month rose almost 28 percent from a year earlier, despite government measures to rein in market speculation.
Transactions of homes, offices and shops in the six municipalities — Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung — totaled 22,520 units, up 27.9 percent from a year earlier, data released by the city governments showed.
However, the number of transactions was down 0.2 percent from the previous month.
In the first four months of this year, housing transactions in the six municipalities rose 19.3 percent from a year earlier to 84,677 units, with Kaohsiung recording the highest year-on-year growth at 24.7 percent.
Taiwan Realty Enterprise Group (台灣房屋集團) section chief Charlene Chang (張旭嵐) said that the year-on-year growth partly reflected a relatively low base of comparison from the same period last year.
It was also the result of high demand from people wanting to buy homes for their own use, Chang said.
Among the government’s measures to reverse a sustained increase in home prices, the central bank set a ceiling of 40 percent of a home’s value for mortgages for corporate buyers or other legal entities.
In terms of luxury homes, the mortgage cap was lowered from 60 percent to 55 percent for people buying their first, second or third home, and from 60 percent to 40 percent for any purchase beyond a third home.
Those measures might have slightly dampened investor interest, but demand remained strong among other consumer segments.
In Taipei, housing transactions totaled 2,712 units last month, up 17.4 percent from a year earlier, but down 3.3 percent from a month earlier, the data showed.
New Taipei City recorded the most residential and commercial sales at 6,325 units, up 37.8 percent from a year earlier and 9.1 percent from a month earlier, the data showed.
In Taoyuan, housing transactions hit 3,757 units, an increase of 13.4 percent from a year earlier, but a decline of 6.2 percent from a month earlier, while sales in Taichung totaled 3,864 units, up 28.5 percent from a year earlier, but down 8.6 percent from a month earlier.
Housing transactions in Tainan reached 2,143 units, up 26.3 percent from a year earlier and 4 percent from a month earlier, while sales in Kaohsiung totaled 3,719 units, an increase of 38.6 percent from a year earlier and 1 percent from a month earlier.
Sinyi Realty Inc (信義房屋) research manager Tseng Ching-der (曾敬德) said the number of newly built homes in the first quarter rose about 4,000 units from a year earlier, which paved the way for more transactions in the quarter and helped stabilize the property markets in the six municipalities.
H&B Business Group research department head Jessica Hsu (徐佳馨) said Taiwan’s low interest rates are expected to support the property market, despite the government’s efforts to curb market speculation.
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