COMPASS MAGAZINE > December 2008

Taichung's current real estate climate

Taichung's current real estate climate

Information provided by Lai Yen-wen, Taiwan Realty MeiCun Branch Manager
Translated by Ann Lee

Though all people seem to talk about these days is the desperation of global markets, the fact that people still need homes and like to live in newer, better homes hasn't changed. The real estate market has been affected by the economic recession, but the biggest changes haven't been seen among potential buyers, but among potential renters--both residential and commercial.

There are several reasons for the current state of affairs, many which have to do with renter confidence. When the economy gets a bit iffy, people who are looking to rent a new place tend to be more conservative with their budget--and understandably so. In times of economic insecurity, people of course hold on to their money a bit tighter. The economy is further affected by small business, or businesses looking to relocate; they have little confidence in investing more in the market or putting a lot of overhead into a new place. Some businesses might lose a lot of money; some are even forced to close their doors. People looking to start a new business hesitate even more as the whole economic environment becomes more chaotic. When they are not sufficiently sure about how well their business will do under the circumstances, they don't want to take the risk.

However, there are two sides to every coin. Though your budget for a property might be slashed in half, landlords are also cutting prices. Afraid of scaring away renters in uncertain times, many property owners will lower their mark. If renters can afford the monthly bills, they will be more likely to stay there long-term, which is the goal for many landlords. After all, if their property remains empty, they don't make any money, either.

If you are looking for a new place, the economic turmoil has far from turned the city into a barren wasteland. There are plenty of resources for you--the Internet, public billboards, newspapers, and reputable, professional real estate agents can help you find your new home. Non-Chinese-speaking renters can go through rental agencies for language, communication and legal help, as well. So, remember, though things may look a bit bleak, there are still a lot of great properties out there to be had--at lower and lower prices!