Taiwan's property market shows contraction: survey
Taipei, Jan. 6 (CNA) Taiwan's property market flashed a "blue light" in December, pointing to contraction as the number of new residential listings dropped, according to a survey by the real estate magazine My Housing.
Citing the survey, the magazine said its housing index fell 2.9 points in December from a month earlier to 30.6 points, flashing a blue light that signaled contraction.
In the previous two weeks, the index was in the 32-42 point range, which meant sluggish growth, said the magazine, which uses a five-color coded system to describe the local property market.
Under the system, red indicates overheating, yellow-red shows fast growth, green represents stable growth, yellow-blue signals sluggish growth, and blue indicates contraction.
Among the six factors in the magazine's the housing index, the sub-indices for listings of pre-sale projects and newly completed residential units fell in December to 6.17 and 4.44 points, respectively, from 8.35 and 5.00 in the previous month.
Ho Shih-chang (何世昌), a research manager at the magazine, said the value of new pre-sale housing projects fell below the NT$20 billion (US$678 million) in December, indicating cautious market sentiment among property developers.
He said the number of newly completed residential units listed for the first time was only 600 in December, which also reflected cautious sentiment.
According to the magazine, the sub-index for housing transactions also fell in December, to 4.69 from 5.16 the month before.
However, the sub-index for property advertising rose to 4.79 in December from 4.48 in November, as property developers tried to attract buying in a slow period, Ho said.
Meanwhile, the sub-index for price negotiations and the number of viewings by potential buyers remained unchanged at 4.78 and 5.76, respectively, in December, My Housing said.
Ho said home buying in December was focused more on small, affordable apartments, many of which were in downtown Taipei.
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