Thu, Jul 23, 2009 - Page 12 News List

‘Misery index’ for home-buyers jumps for greater Taipei

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The average housing price in Taipei City last month equaled more than 23 years of a dual-income family’s total earnings, translating into a home-buyer “misery index” of 23.5, up from 18.4 three years ago, the Chinese-language Housing Monthly reported yesterday.

The home-buyer misery index of property prices in Taipei County also rose to 9.1 last month from 8.3 in 2006, the survey showed.

“It’s getting more and more difficult for the nation’s middle income earners to find a home in Taipei as a result of the city’s rising property prices and meager income growth,” Nii Tzu-jung (倪子仁), an executive at the monthly, said by telephone.

The magazine calculated the home-buyer misery index by taking the average total annual income of the nation’s dual-income families, which was NT$823,000 (US$25,000) for households headed by 30-to-34-year-olds in 2007 and dividing it by the cost of a 35-ping (116m2) home, using the most recent statistics available from the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics.

Ideally, breadwinners should aim for a home that costs seven to eight times their annual incomes, or a home-buyer misery index of 7 or 8, Nii said, adding that the home-buyer misery index would be bigger if last year’s smaller average salary figures had been used.

In Taipei, property prices in the Da-an District (大安) had the highest home-buyer misery index at 34.9 this year, up from 25.1 three years ago. This was followed by Xinyi District (信義) with 34.5, up from 23.6 in 2006 and Zhongzheng District (中正) with 29.5, up from 22.3 in 2006, the survey found. The city’s Wenshan (文山), Wanhua (萬華) and Datong (大同) districts had the lowest home-buyer misery indexes, with 14.9, 16.3 and 17.8 respectively.

In Taipei County, Yonghe (永和), Sindian (新店) and Banciao (板橋) Cities had the highest indexes at 15.8, 14.9 and 13.6 respectively while Yingge (鶯歌), Sansia (三峽) and Linkou (林口) Townships had the lowest indexes at 5, 6 and 6.3 respectively, the survey showed.

Nii urged the nation’s middle-income households to shop for homes in Taipei County as prices for properties in the greater Taipei area are less likely to fall.

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