Wed, Jul 23, 2008 - Page 11 News List

Experts question wisdom of AIG land acquisition

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The location of the Taichung-based plot of land that AIG Global Real Estate purchased on Monday from China Metal Products Co (CMP, 勤美集團) for NT$1.086 billion (US$35.75 million) could pose a challenge for its planned luxury housing project at the site, a local real-estate expert said yesterday.

“Most luxury homes [in the city] are built outside that area — the old downtown area mostly known to senior residents of Taichung,” Chung Yin-tang (鍾尹堂), chairman of the market information committee at the Taichung Real Estate Development Association, said by telephone yesterday.

The 1,206 ping (3,979m²) deal also closed at an above-market unit price of NT$905,000 (US$29,800) per ping (3.3m²), higher than the land price of about NT$600,000 per ping in that area, Chung said.

He was nevertheless upbeat about the city’s potential and future sales of luxury homes, although its luxury home market is going through a phase of correction.

CMP disagreed, however, saying that the area had everything a luxury home requires.

“It is a very mature business district, surrounded by lots of green and two museums, with three five-star hotels within walking distance,” CMP spokeswoman Ho Pei-fen (何佩芬) said by telephone yesterday.

“We’re very confident the housing project will sell at a record-high unit price,” she said, adding that home prices in the area currently were between NT$350,000 and NT$400,000 per ping.

The planned luxury home project will be developed by AIG and CMP, Ho said.

She refused to say how many homes would be allotted to AIG.

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