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Sales of previously owned homes up: realtors

TAIPEI--Transactions of previously owned homes in six major areas of Taiwan showed a recovery in September from a month earlier, indicating that buying in the local property market has picked up, according to statistics released Saturday.

According to the statistics compiled by Taiwan Realty, one of Taiwan's leading property agents, transactions on second-hand homes rose 6.89 percent month-on-month in the six areas.

The areas described by the real estate agents are Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan County, Hsinchu County, Taichung and Kaohsiung.

Taiwan Realty statistics indicate that Taoyuan and Hsinchu enjoyed the highest growth in transactions, up 16.36 percent from the previous month.

However, Yung Ching Realty, another leading local property agent, said transactions grew 20 percent in Kaohsiung during the period, followed by Taipei at 12 percent, Taichung at 11 percent and New Taipei at 10 percent.

Yung Ching Realty said the increase in transactions was a departure from the stagnation of the preceding three months, when the government implemented a policy of price registration in a bid to curb market speculation.

In terms of second-hand home prices, the six areas reported an average price drop of 0.74 percent month-on-month, although the real estate agents said the decline was mild, indicating that home prices remained stable.

According to Taiwan Realty, the average price in Taipei rose 0.27 percent, the highest increase among the six areas, followed by Taoyuan County with 0.07 percent.

The average price of second-hand homes stood at NT$547,200 (US$18,676) per ping in Taipei, NT$293,900 in New Taipei, NT$140,100 in Taoyuan, NT$164,800 in Hsinchu, NT$165,400 in Taichung and NT$132,500 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan Realty said.

Looking ahead, Stanley Su, an analyst with Sinyi Realty, another leading property agent in Taiwan, said he is cautiously optimistic about the outlook for the local property market in the fourth quarter on the back of high liquidity.

Su said that after the U.S. Federal Reserve launched a third round of quantitative easing in mid-September to boost the economy, the market began to see an increase in liquidity on a spill-over effect in Asia, which has prompted investors to pour money into the local property market.

Su said that in particular, major property developers and insurance companies have rushed to acquire land and commercial property to stir up buying interest.

However, the analyst said, as lingering debt problems in the eurozone might weigh on the global financial markets, the local property market is expected to grow at a mild pace through the end of this year.

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