There were 1.56 million vacant housing units in Taiwan as of the end of last year, according to a report released by the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) yesterday.
This figure showed that 19.3 percent of the units had been left unoccupied at the end of last year, representing an increase of 1.7 percentage points, or 328,000 units, compared with 10 years ago, the report showed.
DGBAS conducts a nationwide census of housing and population once every 10 years.
Keelung had the highest vacancy rate, at 25.2 percent, while Taipei had just 13.4 percent vacancy rate, the lowest in the nation.
DGBAS officials attributed the upward climb of the vacancy rate to an increase in the number of housing units and to a slowdown in population growth over the last 10 years.
The number of homes hit 8.074 million, up 1.4 percent annually on average since 2000, while Taiwan’s permanent population totaled 23.124 million, growing only 0.4 percent per year, lower than the 0.9 percent annual growth rate for 1990 to 2000.
New Taipei City
New Taipei City (新北市) saw the largest increase in the number of homes, up 222,000 units from 10 years earlier, but Hsinchu County registered the highest growth rate of 35.7 percent, though it actually got only 42,000 new homes during the period.
DGBAS defines vacant homes as those without permanent residents or those that are left unused for any other purposes, including units that are waiting for tenants or to be sold.