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Taipei commercial realty prices drop in Q1

The average sale price of commercial real estate in Taipei stood at NT$628,000 per ping (3.3 square meters) in the first quarter, a decline of 4.1 percent from the fourth quarter of last year, revealed Yung Ching Realty yesterday.

Meanwhile, during the same period, large-sized property sales totaled NT$6.82 billion, a sharp decline of 81.7 percent from the last quarter of 2011, Yung Ching said. The broker defines a large-size property sale as one with a transaction price of over NT$100 million.

According to Yung Ching, the decline capped an 11-quarter winning streak in commercial real estate and was the result of various factors. Sellers have raised offering prices by 10 to 20 percent, a move that has prolonged transaction time. Most sales involved property transactions in the suburbs, where prices are cheaper.

At the same time, buyers refrained from entering the market during the first quarter due to uncertainty resulting from different factors, including the presidential election on Jan. 14. This led to a decline in the sales of large-sized properties such as offices, factories, hotels and storefronts, Yung Ching said.

Meanwhile the NT$628,000 unit price was a rise of 73 percent from the NT$364,000 during the first quarter of 2009, in the midst of the global financial turmoil. Over the same period, however, Taipei rents rose from NT$1,877 a ping to NT$2,054, a margin of only 9.4 percent.

Property vacancy rate stood at 8.56 percent in the first quarter, a decline of 0.45 percent from 2011's fourth quarter, due to low rents and a recovering economy.

By type of property, factory sales occupied the largest portion of the total at 45 percent, Yung Ching said. By investor, tech firms took the biggest share at 30 percent.

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