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Real estate market sentiment turns conservative in Q4: poll

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Real estate market sentiment became increasingly conservative in the fourth quarter of last year, according to a survey released by the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) Wednesday.

In the survey, MOI gave an overall home price trending score of 120.1 for the fourth quarter of 2012, a decline following three successive quarters of growth.

The poll was conducted on 1,322 home purchasers and 1,304 potential buyers during December of last year.

The score was a noticeable decline from 2012's third-quarter score of 127.3. According to MOI officials, a score of 100 means real estate sentiment is split half and half between optimists and pessimists.

“A score of 120.1 means that optimists still outnumbered pessimists in the market during the fourth quarter,” MOI said. “It's just that there were fewer optimists.”

In the past, the survey was conducted with the help of Chang Chin-er, a National Chengchi University (NCCU) professor. Yet, starting with the fourth quarter of 2012, MOI changed its policy and conducted the survey alone.

The poll was released during an MOI news conference on Wednesday, without the presence of Chang.

In a separate interview, Chang said the figures indicated that the home market has lost steam.

“The trending figure among potential buyers in Taipei City stood at below 100, the lowest among Taiwan's major metropolises for two quarters in a row,” Chang said. “This means homebuyers are less willing to chase prices.”

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 Taiwan's commercial sales in Jan. up 7.7% 
This photo taken on Aug. 18, 2012 shows various residential buildings along a river in Taipei. Real estate market sentiment became increasingly conservative in the fourth quarter of last year, according to a survey released by the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) Wednesday, Feb. 27. (AFP)

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