COST OF LIVING/Housing transactions in 6 major cities falls on rate hikes

10/03/2022 10:04 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, Oct. 3 (CNA) Transactions of residential and commercial property in the six largest cities in Taiwan fell in September as the central bank continued raising interest rates to fight inflation, statistics released by the six local government showed Monday.

A total of 18,358 homes, offices and shops in Taipei, New Taipei and Taoyuan in the north, Taichung in central Taiwan, and Tainan and Kaohsiung in the south, were bought and sold in September, down 4.2 percent from a month earlier and down 14.2 percent from a year earlier, the data showed.

In Taipei, the most closely watched property market in Taiwan, 1,958 residential and commercial units were bought and sold in September, down 12.4 percent from August and down 21.3 percent from a year earlier.

In New Taipei, the most populous city in the country, 4,120 units were transacted in September, down 7.8 percent from a month earlier and down 21.3 percent from a year earlier.

Housing sales in Taoyuan totaled 3,663 units in September, up 5.2 percent from a month earlier but down 2.4 percent from a year earlier, while transactions in Taichung rose 1.8 percent from a month earlier to 4,098 units, with a year-on-year increase of 2.2 percent.

Housing transactions in Tainan reached 1,757 units in September, down 12.9 percent from a month earlier and down 20.9 percent from a year earlier, while sales in Kaohsiung fell 5.6 percent from a month earlier and also dropped 24.9 percent from a year earlier to 2,762 units.

In the third quarter, sales of residential and commercial housing in the six cities hit 55,990 units, down 15.9 percent from the second quarter but up 0.5 percent from a year earlier, the data showed.

Housing transactions in the first nine months of this year totaled 187,495 units, down 1.4 percent from a year earlier.

Third interest rate hikes in 2022

Lang Mei-nan (郎美囡), a research manager with Great Home Realty, said interest rate hikes by the central bank reduced liquidity levels in the property market, with home buyers in northern and southern Taiwan seeing their interest dampened the most in September.

On the contrary, the property market in central Taiwan appeared resilient as homes built in rezoning areas continued to attract buying, Lang said.

At a quarterly policymaking meeting held on Sept. 22, the central bank raised its key interest rates by an additional 12.5 basis points, after two hikes in March and June totaling 37.5 basis points.

The central bank also raised the required deposit reserve ratio, which is the fraction of deposits regulators require banks to hold in reserves and not loan out, by 25 basis points.

It was the second consecutive quarter the central bank had raised the required deposit reserve ratio by 25 basis points, a move to further take funds out of the market.

Commenting on the reduced transactions, Charlene Chang (張旭嵐), a section chief of Taiwan Realty Enterprise, said the September rate hike will have a more apparent impact on the property market in October.

Another rate hikes expected

Chang said it was possible the central bank will raise rates at its December quarterly policymaking meeting, which would lead the local property market to see a further drop in transactions.

Jessica Hsu (徐佳馨) of H&B Business Group said inflation has led many home sellers to think potential buyers are willing to jump into the market to get a home to maintain the value of their assets.

As a result, Hsu said, these home sellers have appeared reluctant to cut prices for the time being, which will continue to prevent deals from getting done in the near future.

(By Lai Yen-hsi and Frances Huang)

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