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Taipei housing transactions up almost 16 percent in May

TAIPEI -- Housing transactions for May in Taipei rose almost 16 percent from a month earlier on the back of an increase in delivery of newly built homes in the month, according to market statistics released Wednesday.

According to the statistics, transactions of residential and commercial properties in May totaled 3,220 units, up 15.91 percent from April's 2,778 units. The May transaction figure was the highest so far this year in the city.

Last month, the city's Wanhua District housing transactions jumped more than 158 percent from April to 419 units among the 12 districts in the city, ahead of Zhongshan District with 410 units, which was a drop of 8.1 percent from a month earlier.

Neihu District came in third with 361 housing transactions in May, up 28.9 percent from April, followed by Beitou District with 306 units and Wenshan District with 301 units.

Datong District recorded the lowest number of transactions at 135 units last month, up 35 percent from a month earlier.

Tseng Ching-der, an analyst with Sinyi Realty Co., one of Taiwan's leading property agencies, said that without the delivery of about 1,000 newly built homes, housing transactions in Taipei would have fared worse, as market sentiment remained cautious.

Tseng said that after the Legislative Yuan passed a bill last month to raise the housing tax on homes that are not owner-occupied to cap market speculation and rein in home prices, many property investors turned wary of the local property market.

S.M. Chien, a manger of Taiwan-based H&B Business group's Taipei office, agreed, saying that as due to the newly revised rules on the housing tax, potential buyers preferred to adopt a wait-and-see attitude, and did not enter the market.

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