Taipei, July 11 (CNA) The majority of people in Taiwan think home prices will fall further in the third quarter of 2012, which indicates that the market is returning to fundamentals, a market researcher said Wednesday, citing a recent nationwide poll.
In an online survey by Sinyi Realty Inc. on consumer sentiment on housing prices for the third quarter, only 22 percent said housing prices will go up, 40 percent said prices will fall, while the 38 percent said prices will remain unchanged.
In a similar survey in the second quarter, 29 percent of the respondents said housing prices would rise, while 43 percent said the prices would remain the same.
Tseng Chin-der, a researcher at Sinyi Realty Inc, said the housing market has returned to fundamentals since a luxury tax was introduced last June to curb property speculation.
The real estate sector is now being influenced mainly by domestic and foreign economic factors, he said.
One of the domestic factors is the controversy surrounding the Wenlin Yuan urban renewal project in Taipei's Shilin District, which 57 percent of the respondents said may drag down the price of old houses.
However, the recent rise in fuel prices and electricity rates will not influence home-buying decisions, according to 69 percent of those polled.
The main foreign factor is the lingering European debt crisis, which 53 percent of the respondents said will deter them from buying properties, while 47 percent said it will not.
Meanwhile, 20 percent said they will make home purchases prior to the introduction of an actual property transaction price registration policy that is aimed at further curbing property prices, while 40 percent said they will do so after the policy takes effect.
Some 40 percent said the policy, due to be launched in August, will make no difference to their home purchasing decisions.
Risk-averse investors are now placing more value on cash in hand or investing in high-value properties, because of falling stock market confidence, Tseng said.
The poll, conducted via e-mail June 27 to July 6, collected 1,033 valid samples and had a margin of error of 5 percentage points.
(By Wei Chu and Ann Chen)