Mon, Aug 29, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Houses cheaper relative to income in Hsinchu: broker

Staff Writer with CNA

Hsinchu City, a key high-tech hub, can be described as a “happy metropolis” because the financial burden of buying a home there is less than in most other big cities in the nation, a real-estate agent said on Saturday.

The average housing price in Hsinchu City was about six-times that of average disposable household income in the city, while the ratio in Hsinchu County was 6.6 times, according to figures compiled by Sinyi Realty Inc (信義房屋), the nation’s only listed real-estate brokerage, based on government statistics on real-estate prices and household income.

Sinyi head researcher Stanley Su (蘇啟榮) attributed the relatively low house price-to-income ratio to the Hsinchu Science Park’s high production value, which has produced a group of high-income earners.

To such individuals, “a property priced at between NT$6 million [US$206,700] and NT$8 million would not constitute a major financial burden,” Su said.

Taipei City continued to be the area where potential homebuyers face the highest financial burden, with the average closing price of houses reaching NT$17.39 million in the first quarter of this year, the study found.

The price of housing in the city was 13 times that of average household income, higher than the 11.6 times recorded during the same period last year, according to Sinyi Realty figures.

Though Su acknowledged that the financial burden of purchasing a home had grown in the country’s capital, he said that many real-estate investors in Taipei were buying property with earnings that were not derived from salaries.

A certain number of buyers were also helped by their parents when purchasing their first home, Su added, as a result of which real-estate purchases in Taipei remained strong despite high prices.

The Sinyi Realty survey indicated that the second-highest housing price-to-income ratio was found in New Taipei City (新北市), where the price of housing was nine times as high as average household income this year, up from 8.2 times last year.

The ratio rose because average housing prices in the newly formed special municipality increased from NT$7.36 million to NT$8.42 million over the past year, Su said.

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