Fri, May 30, 2008 - Page 12 News List

Housing costs hit peak in real terms

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

The financial burden of buying a home in Taipei City hit a record high in the first quarter of this year, with prices averaging the equivalent of 10.4 years of a buyer’s income, a survey published yesterday found.

Chang Chin-oh (張金鶚), a professor at the Department of Land Economics of National Chengchi University, which organized the survey, said the results showed the unprecedented high costs for would-be home owners in Taipei City.

TAIPEI COUNTY

In Taipei County, a home cost the equivalent of 7.8 times a buyer’s annual income, said the study, carried out by the Institute for Physical Planning and Information during the first half of last month.

In Taichung City and Taichung County, the ratio stood at 6.7 times a buyer’s yearly income. In Taoyuan and Hsinchu counties the figure fell to six and in Kaohsiung City and Kaohsiung County fell to 5.6.

NATIONWIDE

Nationwide, apartment and house prices in the first quarter were 7.5 times buyers’ full annual earnings, up from 6.6 a year ago, Chang said.

The survey also found that housing loan principals in Taipei City also rose to a new high of 43.6 percent of a buyers’ monthly salary, representing a serious burden on the living standards of home owners.

The problem might be much more serious than it appears on the surface, Chen said, adding that the survey did not address the issue of people who cannot afford to buy a home.

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