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Housing transactions in Taipei, New Taipei may hit new low in 2015

Housing transactions in Taipei, New Taipei may hit new low in 2015

Transactions of residential and commercial property in Taipei and New Taipei could hit a new record low in reflection of stagnant buying interest at a time of a slowing local economy, a market estimate revealed Tuesday.

Taipei, the nation's capital, and New Taipei, the most populous municipality in the country, are the most closely watched property markets here.

According to H&B Business Group, one of Taiwan's leading property sales agencies, even though the Legislative Yuan passed a bill in June to abolish the luxury tax on property sales starting from next year, there have been no signs of buying interest recovering in the two cities.

The luxury tax, which was introduced in 2011 in an attempt to keep housing prices in check, levies a 15 percent sales tax on second homes sold within one year of purchase and a 10 percent tax on properties sold between one and two years after they are bought.

In conjunction with the removal of the luxury tax, lawmakers have also passed a tax reform to take on speculators by imposing a maximum 45 percent tax on people who sell their homes within a certain period of purchase.

In the first 11 months of this year, transactions of homes, offices and shops totaled only 24,407 units in Taipei and 42,693 units in New Taipei, as sales in the two cities remained low at 2,000-3,000 units and 3,000-5,000 units, respectively, despite the removal of the luxury tax.

H&B said that if transactions in December fail to make a significant comeback and stay little changed from the levels recorded in previous months, sales of homes, offices and shops in Taipei for the whole of 2015 could fall below the 30,000 unit mark, and transactions in New Taipei are likely to drop below 50,000 units.

In 2014, transactions of residential and commercial property in Taipei and New Taipei stood at about 32,000 units and some 60,000 units, the lowest annual levels so far.

Hsu Chia-hsin, head of H&B's research division, said that many buyers in both Taipei and New Taipei have taken to the sidelines since there is wide anticipation that home prices will trend lower.

According to H&B, buying in low and mid-priced homes appeared more welcome among buyers in the Taipei and New Taipei markets for the moment. (Wei Shu and Frances Huang)


Updated : 2021-09-27 19:36 GMT+08:00