About 30 percent of Taiwanese expect housing prices to drop this quarter, a sharp increase of 20 percentage points from three months earlier, as a COVID-19 outbreak dampens confidence, a survey by Evertrust Rehouse Co (永慶房屋) released yesterday showed.
The ratio of people with positive views fell by 17 percentage points to 42 percent, affirming that overall sentiment is weakening, but not to an abysmal state, the broker said during a recorded videoconference.
The survey was conducted in the second half of May, when a spike in local infections wreaked havoc on confidence levels, Evertrust associate manager Chen Shih-chieh (陳賜傑) said.
Photo courtesy of Tainan Bureau of Land Administration
The retreat is most evident in Taipei and New Taipei City, the areas most affected by the outbreak, Chen said.
Confidence appears to have stabilized later last month following a consistent decrease in confirmed cases, he said.
About 31 percent of respondents think that entering the market this year would be a wise move, as housing prices are more affordable during bad times and low interest rates can lend further support, Chen said.
However, 41 percent believe it is better to wait until the uncertainty settles, the survey showed.
The market also needs time to digest a property tax hike and detailed transaction data disclosures from this month onward, Evertrust said.
The survey also showed that 93 percent of the public are anticipating consumer price hikes, especially for food, it said.
A big majority of 62 percent think that real estate is the best defense against inflation, which could eventually extend to rental rates, utility bills, furniture prices and everything else, it said.
Property prices have been resilient in the nation even during the global financial crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, it said.
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