Taiwan properties for sale drop to 10-year low in Ghost Month

PHOTO: AFP

TAIPEI, Taiwan - The value of properties introduced by developers into the market totals NT$4.7 billion (S$204 million) so far in Ghost Month, the lowest in 10 years, HouseFun News reported.

The total number of properties for sale in Ghost Month up to now represents a 97.2-per cent plummet compared with the same period in 2013, when the value peaked at NT$170.2 billion.

The value of new properties introduced by developers fell below expectation "by a large margin" during this year's ghost month, which lasts from Aug. 14 to Sept. 12, analysts said.

The new number of new housing projects is exceptionally low this year as big developers have shied away from the market amid tumbling stocks and a weak economy overall, said HouseFun News' head Ni Tze-jen.

In contrast to previous years, major developers are pushing for fewer properties in the market, Ni said.

However, Ni pointed out that two weeks after Ghost Month will come the "928 period," which refers to the timeframe between mid-September and the end of October and is considered one of the busiest seasons for Taiwan's real estate industry.

Some developers have decided they might as well delay promotions until the more promising period and when the stock market rebounds, Ni said.

Only Three Big-ticket Properties Pre-selling in the Market

Currently there are three housing projects that are pre-selling for more than NT$10 billion in total value. They are Boutique Mansion located in Taipei, Joyoung Salzburg and Pauian Chunshengsheng located in New Taipei City.

Boutique Mansion consists of two- and three-bedroom apartments, which range from 23 to 33 pings in space (approximately 75.9 to 108.9 square meters). They are targeted at first-time home buyers.

Joyoung Salzburg offers apartments that range from 20 to 40 pings in area (approximately 66 to 132 square meters).

Pauian Chunshengsheng brings two- to four-bedroom apartments with 30-56 pings in area (99 to 184.8 square meters).

Construction firms are advised to change the way they sell properties, namely lowering prices slightly to ensure transactions are made, Ni said.

Ni predicted housing prices will decline 5 to 10 per cent in New Taipei City this year, higher than his previous forecast of 3 to 5 per cent.

Areas where developers have tended to launch housing projects over past years, according to Ni, are Taipei's Neihu and Beitou; New Taipei City's Xinzhuang, Linkou and Danshui; Taoyuan City's Zhongli, Bade and Pingzhen; and Hsinchu County's Zhubei.

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