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High commodity prices emerge as top complaint

High commodity prices have emerged as the top complaint by locals, supplanting high housing prices, which had lingered in the top spot for 11 consecutive quarters, according to a quarterly survey conducted by the Chinatrust Real Estate Co.

A composite index measuring public sentiment toward Taiwan's economic performance, commodity prices, household finances, money management and housing prices, compiled by Chinatrust Real Estate, dropped to only 32.07 points in the second quarter of this year, for the second-lowest level of its kind since such an index was first compiled in the first quarter of 2009.

The survey presented commodity prices as the most influential factor on the real estate market in the second half of the year, followed by the uncertainty surrounding the stock gains tax issue, and the European debt crisis.

It was also found that the ratio of respondents planning to purchase houses in the next three to six months declined slightly from the first quarter, but the ratio of prospective homeowners in the coming two years rose.

Chinatrust Real Estate Chairman Yu Chen-chuan said the abovementioned findings indicated that although homebuyer sentiment is affected in the short term, there was sustained overall buying power in the market.

Yu expected the local realty market to remain flat in the third quarter and gradually turn around in the fourth.

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