Thu, Oct 24, 2013 - Page 14 News List

Demand sends Taipei’s housing prices skyward

RUSH TO DOWNTOWN:Zhongshan District leads the way for housing price increases in Taipei as people are attracted by the MRT and upmarket shopping options

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Suite prices have climbed significantly in central Taipei districts in recent years as larger abodes became increasingly unaffordable in the city, according to a report released yesterday.

Suite prices increased 10 percent in Zhongshan District (中山) regardless of their age with costs for three-year-old suites rising 20 percent due to strong demand and limited supply, according to Evertrust Rehouse Co (永慶房屋), the nation’s largest real-estate agency by number of offices.

Consequently, suite prices rose to NT$830,000 per ping (3.3m2) in the district last quarter, a record high since the government introduced the real-price registration measure in August last year, Evertrust researcher Andy Huang (黃舒衛) said.

The latest figures represent a 20 percent increase from NT$696,000 per ping in August last year for three-year-old suites in the district, the report said.

Huang attributed the quick advance to the district’s easy access to the MRT system, hotels, department stores and boutiques.

The district includes the Formosa International Hotel (晶華酒店), the Ambassador Hotel (國賓大飯店), the Okura Prestige Taipei (大倉九和), Hsin-Hsin Showtime Cinemas (欣新影城) and Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Department Store (新光三越).

“Transportation and shopping convenience explains why the district accounted for 37.5 percent of suite deals in the city, topping other administrative areas for the past year,” Huang said in the report.

Daan District (大安) ranked second with 9.5 percent, followed by Beitou District (北投) with 6.8 percent and Wenshan District (文山) with 6.2 percent, the report said, citing government data.

Older suites five, 10 and 20 years old in Zhongshan District had a 10 percent average price increase, the report said.

A shortage of land and high demand drive builders to construct either luxury apartments or suites, Huang said.

Lower entry thresholds have helped suites to regain popularity after stiffer mortgage terms once kept buyers away from them, Huang said

They tend to be more susceptible to price corrections in times of distress, he added.

Looking forward, Evertrust said suite prices in Zhongshan District may climb higher in the coming few years, as the MRT Songshan Line is due to start operating by the end of next year, bringing more shoppers from other areas to the district.

Chinese tourists, in particular, have shown a penchant for shopping at the exotic boutiques on Zhongshan N Road, Huang said.

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