Taipei The property market in northern Taiwan showed signs of improving after an index gauging the market climate indicated an end to seven months of contraction, according to a survey by real estate magazine My Housing.
The survey found five of the six factors in the index, such as the listings of newly-built homes and presale residential property projects, moved higher in March, helping the market climb out of contraction mode.
According to the survey, the housing index for northern Taiwan flashed a "yellow blue light," signaling sluggish growth, improving from a "blue light" pointing to contraction in February, after the index rose 5.4 points from a month earlier to 32.3.
Under the magazine's color-coded system, a red light indicates overheating, yellow-red shows fast growth, green represents stable growth, yellow-blue signals sluggish growth, and blue indicates contraction
The index covers major counties and cities in northern Taiwan such as Taipei, New Taipei, Keelung, Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Yilan, which account for more than 50 percent of total residential and commercial property transactions in the country.
Ho Shih-chang (???), a research manager at the magazine, said in a report about the survey that the listing of presale residential property projects in March was valued at more than NT$30 billion (US$974 million) in total, a relatively high amount in recent months.
Among the newly listed projects, which put up more than 1,000 units for sale in March, 10 sales plans were valued at NT$1.5 billion each, Ho said.
Of the six factors in the March housing index, only the sub-index on home price negotiations remained unchanged from a month earlier at 5.46 points, the survey found, for the fourth consecutive month.
The sub-indexes for the other five factors all moved higher in March with the indexes for listings of newly built residential property, listings of presale residential property projects, advertising for housing sales, number of visits by potential buyers and transactions rising from 6.53, 3.66, 3.28, 4.24 and 3.75, respectively in February to 6.90, 5.27, 4.18, 5.76 and 4.69 in March, the survey showed.
Ho said the increasing number of visits by potential buyers and transactions pointed to growing buying interest in some areas such as in Taipei's Beitou, New Taipei's Banqiao and Sanchong and Taoyuan's Zhongli and Neili.
The analyst said with buying interest reviving, many home investors focused on small-sized units with an area of less than 10 ping (one ping equals 3.3 square meters).
For example, a residential property project in Taipei's Wenshan District listed small-sized units with the smallest size of only 7 ping at a starting asking price of NT$5.88 million, he said.
Despite the improving housing index it is too early to determine whether the momentum will continue, Ho said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel