Taipei, May 5 (CNA) Building transactions in Kaohsiung, the second largest city in Taiwan, for April hit an 11-month high of 3,401 units, up from 3,392 in March, in a warming real estate market in the south, statistics showed.
According to the statistics released by the Kaohsiung City government, building transactions in the city for last month exceeded even those recorded in Taipei City, the nation's capital and largest city, for the second consecutive month.
In Taipei, building transactions for April rose to 3,228 units after the city posted monthly home transactions below 3,000 units for three months in a row.
In 2011, average monthly building transactions in Kaohsiung reached 3,122 units, much lower than the monthly average of 4,159 units recorded in Taipei.
Market analysts said the latest transaction records indicated that buying interest in the real estate market in Kaohsiung has been accelerating.
They added a sluggish real estate in Kaohsiung has been reversed to push higher transactions back to a level before the government imposed the "luxury tax" in June 2011.
The luxury tax, which is aimed at curbing property speculation, imposes 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 they were purchased.
In April, building transactions in Kaohsiung's Zuoying District hit 487 units, while property sales in Sanmin, Fongshan and Gushan districts reached 469, 399 and 367 units, respectively, the Kaohsiung City government said.
It said home buying enthusiasm in the four districts appeared most obvious, leading them to account for about half of the transactions in the city.
Sinyi Realty Inc., one of Taiwan's leading real estate agencies, said the latest average price per ping (3.3 square meters) in Kaohsiung has risen to NT$130,000 (US$4,437) amid increased buying interest, in particular from first-time home buyers.
The property agency said in certain new property development projects in the city, the asking price even stood at NT$300,000 per ping, prompting many home buyers to chase prices.
Sinyi Realty said while the real estate market in Taipei remains in a consolidation mode, the market in Kaohsiung has regained momentum and has great potential to grow further.
(By Wei Shu and Frances Huang)