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Property market seen likely to recover after poll

2012/01/15 16:24:04

Taipei, Jan. 15 (CNA) Property transactions are expected to recover in the wake of Saturday’s presidential and legislative elections which have put the political uncertainty in the market to rest, a real estate agent said Sunday.

The re-election of Ma Ying-jeou of the China-friendly Kuomintang (KMT) ensures that Taiwan will continue on its current course of improving ties with China, Sinyi Realty Inc. said.

Ma defeated his rivals Tsai Ing-wen of the main opposition Democratic Progress Party (DPP) and James Soong of the minor opposition People First Party (PFP) on Saturday, winning 51.6 percent of the vote.

The KMT also retained its majority in the Legislature, taking 64 of the 113 seats that were at stake in the simultaneous legislative election.

“The results are expected to revive the stagnant real estate market, which was seriously affected by the uncertainty before the elections,” Sinyi Realty said. “It is expected that transactions in the market will return to normal levels.”

The average number of monthly property transactions in the fourth quarter of last year in Taiwan’s five special municipalities of Taipei, New Taipei, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung stood at 16,690 units, according to the real estate agent.

This was far below the monthly average of 22,517 units in the 2002-2011 period and represented a decline of about 26 percent, Sinyi Realty said.

In Taipei and New Taipei, in particular, the monthly average in the fourth quarter was about 30 percent lower than in the 10-year period, the agency said.

Now the elections are over, the property market transactions are expected to rise again to a level close to the 2002-2011 period, the agency forecast.

However, although more transactions are likely, property prices could remain depressed if the government caps home prices to implement a policy of housing justice, Sinyi Realty said.

The government introduced a luxury tax in June, imposing a 15 percent sales tax on second homes sold within one year of purchase and a 10 percent sales tax on properties sold between one and two years after purchase.

Sinyi Realty said the government’s policy has turned many speculators away from the property market.

In addition, an economic slowdown at home and abroad amid concerns over the debt crisis in Europe is expected to continue to affect property prices, the real estate agent said.

(By Frances Huang)
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