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June 29, 2017

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Taipei's housing prices drop over course of second quarter

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Housing prices in Greater Taipei and Kaohsiung both dropped in the second quarter, while real estate prices in Taipei fell below the level of a year ago, according to a report released by Cathay Real Estate (國泰建設) yesterday.

Prices in Taipei City fell by 5.59 percent on average, compared with the first quarter of this year. Housing prices in Kaohsiung City also fell 5.61 percent, compared with the first quarter. Taoyuan and Hsinchu districts grew about 6 percent while Taichung City grew about 4 percent.

The report points out that Taiwan's construction projects totaled NT$389.1 billion in the second quarter, while both supply and trading volumes grew 20 percent.

However, it was obvious that housing prices are on a downward trend. Housing prices in Taipei City, New Taipei City and Kaohsiung City have all dropped, according to the report.

Takming University of Science and Technology associate professor Hua Ching-chun (花敬群) said that the real estate market is now in a reversal pattern. Housing prices lack upward moving momentum, and people looking at properties for individual use are also waiting for the right time to purchase. There seem to be less pricing adjustments in the short term, but pricing may fall 50 percent over five years, if the overall economy keeps declining, Hua said.

Prices Certain to Fall in Remainder of 2014

Hua also mentioned that Taiwan's housing prices have been dropping slowly. The main cause is due to the business cycle in the market. "The trend for housing prices will reverse and decline in the second half of the year. It's almost certain," said Hua.

According to Jinwen University of Science and Technology associate professor Jang Ding-shiuan's (章定煊) analysis, not only first-time purchasers can't afford to buy homes, the middle class can't afford it either. Most of Taiwan's main housing prices have reached the NT$10 million dollar mark, and looking for properties in outer regions to get lower prices is no longer effective.

Consumers' house-purchasing ability has been greatly suppressed. Jang called consumers' need to purchase homes a "rigid requirement," but this requirement faces the "rigid affordability" problem, or consumers' inability to afford homes, he said.

Cathay Real Estate assistant manager Lin Ching-liang (林清樑) said that "the real estate market is a little chaotic, and consumers' waiting and delaying home-purchasing are obviously happening." Lin thought that the main reason affecting housing prices is the U.S. Fed's quantitative easing (QE) or uncertainty about whether the capital level will decline.

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