Housing transactions in the nation’s six special municipalities last month soared 61.4 percent from a month earlier to 25,257 units, as the market emerged from a holiday effect, but interest rate hikes are driving market uncertainty, real-estate brokers said last week.
The figure marked an 11.9 percent increase over the same period last year, they said.
Kaohsiung, New Taipei City, Taichung, Tainan, Taipei and Taoyuan all reported transaction increases of more than 50 percent month-on-month, thanks partly to a low comparison base in February, as people put off purchases during the Lunar New Year holiday, brokers said.
“The week-long holiday postponed home purchases rather than wiping out buying interest altogether,” said Chen Chin-ping (陳金萍), deputy research head at Evertrust Rehouse Co (永慶房屋), Taiwan’s largest broker by the number of offices.
Tainan posted the fastest gain of 69.7 percent to 2,426 units, followed by Taipei’s 67.1 percent advance to 3,200 units, Kaohsiung’s 65.9 percent increase to 4,042 units, New Taipei City’s 60.7 percent pickup to 6,406 units, Taichung’s 59 percent increase to 4,953 units and Taoyuan’s 53.1 percent growth to 4,230 units, data from local governments showed.
Transactions in central and southern Taiwan have outpaced deals in Taipei and are catching up with New Taipei City, indicating that demand for property spread nationwide, and the economic gaps between the north and the south narrowed.
For the first quarter of the year, housing deals grew 4.4 percent year-on-year to an 11-year high of 64,921 units, government data showed, as the market thrived despite unfavorable policy measures.
Tainan posted the fastest increase of 10.2 percent annually, followed by New Taipei City’s 8.9 percent advance and Kaohsiung’s 7.2 percent increase, the data showed.
Announcements that high-tech firms were building new plants in Tainan and Kaohsiung have boosted property prices there by more than 30 percent in the past few years, brokers said, adding that improving infrastructure and relative housing affordability also supported the increase in sales.
However, the market could face pressure after the central bank and the US last month raised interest rates by 25 basis points, which they could increase further to try to curb inflation, said Tseng Ching-der (曾進德), research manager at Sinyi Realty Inc (信義房屋), Taiwan’s only listed broker.
The hawkish moves would increase mortgage burdens and discourage investment-driven home buyers, but could have a limited effect on people with real demand, Tseng said.
H&B Realty Co (住商不動產) said the market would need more time to assimilate rate increases, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a surge in local COVID-19 infections.
The data suggest a healthy market, but people should avoid overleveraging in volatile times, H&B research head Jessica Hsu (徐佳馨) said.
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