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Politics, economy to affect realty market: poll

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's political and macroeconomic situation will continue to impact the island's home market this year, according to a recent survey released by Cathay Real Estate and National Chengchi University.

According to the survey, Taiwan's real estate industry had a slow first quarter in 2012, followed by an upward surge in the second. Things cooled down a bit in the third quarter and picked up again in the last three months of 2012.

Price negotiation rates fell in northern Taiwan and increased in the south. Kaohsiung City had the highest negotiation rate — the difference between closing prices and offering prices — at 19.86 percent and Taichung City had the lowest at 13.74 percent. The rates for other cities and counties averaged 17 percent.

While prices were volatile, they experienced an overall rise last year, the survey found.

Transaction prices grew by 7.48 percent in Taiwan last year. By region, Taichung transaction prices grew by the biggest margin at 14.49 percent, followed by 12.04 percent for Tainan. The margins for Taipei City, New Taipei City, Taoyuan-Hsinchu and Kaohsiung City were respectively 8.98 percent, 6.76 percent, 3.78 percent and 1.34 percent.

New home sales fell in northern Taiwan yet increased in the south. For the entirety of Taiwan, sales declined 2.08 percent last year. By region, New Taipei City new home sales declined by 50 percent year-on-year, followed by 4.18 percent for Taipei City.

Taoyuan-Hsinchu and Taichung sales both grew 30 percent, while Tainan and Kaohsiung grew 143.93 percent and 122.43 percent, respectively.

According to Cathay Real Estate, Taiwan's home market will see price stability and narrowed sales in the short term. Yet overall, the market will be impacted by various factors, including the island's political and macroeconomic situations, as well as a possible imbalance in supply and demand.

The poll was released after the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) reported that last year, total home sales in Taiwan totaled 329,741, a decline of 9 percent compared to 2011.

According to the MOI data, sales in Taipei City totaled 38,571 last year, a decline of 23 percent, while those in New Taipei stood at 69,187, a decline of 18 percent.

Sales in Taoyuan and Kaohsiung rose. Sales in Hsinchu, Taichung and Tainan, meanwhile, fell by single digits.

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