Fri, Mar 11, 2011 - Page 11 News List

Developers propose record amount of property projects

WHAT LUXURY TAX?Real-estate developers have put forward NT$261bn in new projects despite the Cabinet having approved a draft bill for a luxury tax yesterday

Staff writer, with CNA

Local real-estate developers are planning more than NT$261 billion (US$8.6 billion) in new property projects for the March 1 to April 30 period even after the government announced plans to tax speculative property transactions, statistics show.

The figure represents a record high for any March-April period in the last 10 years, adding a new climax to the traditional peak in property development, Chinese-language Housing Monthly (住展雜誌) reported yesterday.

Housing Monthly said the total value of new housing projects put forward in the so-called “golden period” for property deals reached NT$261.6 billion, about NT$39.6 billion more than the 2008 figure for the same period, even though the Cabinet approved a “luxury tax” draft bill earlier in the day meant to curb speculative real estate transactions.

The 10 percent to 15 percent levy, which has yet to pass the legislative floor, is expected to go into effect in the second half of this year.

Many economic analysts have predicted the new tax will cool the overheated property market, as well as help narrow the widening wealth gap.

However, Ni Tzu-jen (倪子仁), research chief of the magazine, said the higher-than-expected volume of new projects demonstrates that the proposed tax poses will have only a limited effect on the ambitions of developers.

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