Transactions of residential and commercial property in Taiwan's six largest metropolitan areas staged a mild rebound in September as the impact of Ghost Month faded away, according to figures compiled by the six city governments.
There were 17,040 homes, offices and shops bought and sold in September in the six cities -- Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung -- up 2.5 percent from a month earlier, after a 15 percent month-on-month decline in August.
The steep decline in August was due to Ghost Month, the seventh month on the lunar calendar that lasted this year from Aug. 11 to Sept. 9.
Taiwanese consumers tend not to purchase big ticket items such as homes and cars during the month to avoid bad luck.
Buying in Taiwan's property market picked up during the rest of September after Ghost Month ended on Sept. 9, said Charlene Chang, a spokesperson for Taiwan Realty Enterprise, but September transactions were still down 0.8 percent from a year earlier.
Taipei, the most watched property market in Taiwan, and New Taipei, the most populous city in the country, recorded the most significant increases in transactions in September due to a relatively low base of comparison in August, the data showed.
After a 27.7 percent month-on-month decline in August, sales of homes, offices and shops in Taipei rose 11.2 percent from a month earlier and 11.9 percent from a year earlier to 2,179 units in September.
While home prices continued to consolidate in Taipei during the month, transactions in Zhongzheng District recorded a 64.1 percent month-on-month increase after the delivery of newly built residential property located on Roosevelt Road in downtown Taipei, Chang said.
In addition, more people looking to buy a home to live in jumped into the market in September, in particular in Beitou and Zhongshan districts, to also boost transactions in Taipei, Chang said.
In New Taipei, transactions of residential and commercial property totaled 4,848 units, up 6.2 percent from a month earlier and up 1.3 percent from a year earlier.
Property transactions in New Taipei plunged 17.6 percent from a month earlier in August.
Hsieh Chi-chieh, a senior manager at Yung Ching Group, said the month-on-month sales growth in New Taipei came after the completion of some residential projects in Banqiao, Tamsui and Xinzhuang districts during the month.
Property transactions in Taoyuan totaled 2,830 units in September, down 3.3 percent from a month earlier and down 3.3 percent from a year earlier, while 3,008 units were bought and sold in Taichung, up 1.2 percent from a month earlier but down 8.3 percent from a year earlier.
In southern Taiwan, transactions in Tainan totaled 1,676 units, up 5.4 percent from a month earlier and up 6.5 percent from a year earlier, while sales in Kaohsiung totaled 2,499 units, down 4.5 percent from a month earlier and down 6.0 percent from a year earlier.
Chang Ching-yun, head of research at National Realty, said Taiwan's property market is facing rising uncertainty because of the nationwide local elections being held on Nov. 24, which could affect transaction numbers for the rest of the year. (By Pan Chih-yi and Frances Huang)