Sat, Feb 21, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Tianmu rentals lead storefront vacancy rate for Taipei area

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Of Taipei City’s 11 major shopping districts, the once busy Tianmu (天母) district hit a storefront vacancy rate high of 16 percent this month on an economic slowdown and resistance to lower rentals, a survey by Taiwan Realty Co (台灣房屋) found.

“Declining businesses have turned the Tianmu shopping district into a community-style shopping area, which was quickly affected by the current downturn,” Pien Hsiao-wei (邊筱崴), a researcher at Taiwan Realty, said yesterday.

Some landlords have refused to lower rents, contributing to the area’s rising vacancies, the survey found.

The district’s monthly storefront rentals have fallen more than 20 percent — the highest among the 11 districts — to average NT$2,900 (US$83.3) per ping, from last July’s average of NT$3,500 per ping, the survey found.

The neighboring Shipai (石牌) district, however, appears to have become the city’s most crowded shopping area, Pien said.

Shipai had the lowest vacancy rate, 1.1 percent, although the return on shop rentals may not be the highest, the survey showed.

A prominent junior high school and several big hospitals have helped retain crowds that support businesses in Shipai, Pien said

The monthly storefront rentals in Shipai averaged NT$8,000 per ping, similar to its average last July, Pien said.

The Wanfang (萬芳) shopping district in the south was the second-busiest district, with the second-lowest vacancy rate (2.8 percent), the survey showed.

Monthly rentals in Wanfang dipped slightly to average at NT$6,500 per ping, down from NT$6,750 per ping last July, the survey found.

Pien said public transportation has proven a vital lifeline for shopping districts.

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