Thu, May 12, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Shin Kong, Japan peer launch Web real-estate service

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff Reporter

Shin Kong Investment Co (新光國際開發), a real-estate service provider affiliated with Shin Kong Group (新光集團), yesterday joined forces with a Japanese partner in launching an online service to help Taiwanese investors acquire properties in Japan.

The new Web site, sk-housing.com, is a joint venture of Shin Kong Investment and Japan’s largest online real-estate broker, At Home Web, said company chairman Paul Lin (林伯翰), who is also a board director at Shin Kong Financial Holding Co (新光金控).

“Real-estate investment has proven to be the best defensive tool against inflation,” Lin told a media briefing. “Excessive liquidity and tightening measures in Greater China prompted the birth of the Web site, which could help channel idle funds to Japan.”

Unlike its neighbors with fast-growing GDP, Japan has not raised levies or adopted monetary tightening measures to cool property transactions, Lin said.

The Japanese property market has benefited from Chinese capital since Beijing imposed restrictions on real-estate investment in China, he said.

Likewise, Taiwanese investors may need new investment tools to digest excess funds, as a luxury tax on short-term property transactions looms, Lin said.

“The luxury tax may shake the property market here the way Japan’s March 11 quake jolted its economy,” he said.

A tax of 10 percent to 15 percent on trading prices will erode potential returns on real-estate investments, Lin said.

However, Lin said the levy could make domestic housing prices more reasonable even though it delayed the launch of the Web site originally slated for March.

Shin Kong Investment welcomed rival brokers to cross-list their products on its Web site. Taiwan Realty Co (台灣房屋) and Master Real Estate Co (大師房屋) have already placed listings on the site.

“We aim to integrate online housing advertisements to better serve clients in Greater China,” Lin said.

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