Taipei, Dec. 19 (CNA) Transactions of commercial properties around Taiwan rose only slightly in 2017, as a fall in investment by life insurers compromised growth, property management firm Savills plc said Tuesday.
Transactions in Taiwan of large commercial properties valued at no less than NT$300 million (US$110 million) in each transaction totaled NT$69.1 billion in 2017, up 4.8 percent from a year earlier, data compiled by Savills showed.
The data does not include the transactions of land which were used for construction of offices, shops or factories, Savills said.
In 2008, Taiwan's commercial property sales dipped to a low of NT$50 billion as the local property market felt the pinch of the global financial crisis at that time, but transaction values have increased since then, according to the property agency.
Ting Mei-chen (丁玫甄), a manager with Savills, said the increase in commercial property sales in 2017 largely reflected strong export performance by Taiwanese firms, which boosted demand for commercial property on the back of solid global demand.
However, Ting said that life insurance companies -- which used to be the major buyers of commercial properties for investment purposes due to the large amounts of cash on hand -- registered a significant fall in purchases, totaling only NT$9 billion in 2017, down sharply from NT$23.9 billion in 2016.
Ting said life insurers generally were not able to find good large-sized investment targets capable of generating handsome returns, so that their sentiment turned cautious.
Nonetheless, the life insurance division of Chunghwa Post Co. spent NT$6.42 billion to acquire a commercial building located in Taipei's Neihu District, the largest single transaction in Taiwan this year, Ting said.
According to Savills, the high-tech sector ranked as the largest buyer of local commercial property, spending NT$14 billion this year, accounting for 20 percent of the total, ahead of the banking sector, which spent NT$8.9 billion on commercial property acquisition deals. Among the bank investors were CTCB Bank and Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank, Savills said.