Mortgages hit record high
Outstanding home mortgages hit a record high as of the end of last month, with market analysts attributing the growth to strong consumer interest in the property market. Statistics released by the central bank showed that outstanding residential housing loans totaled NT$5.67 trillion (US$187 billion) as of the end of last month, up NT$21.9 billion from a month earlier. Outstanding loans for housing construction also rose by NT$14.1 billion from the end of December last year to a record NT$1.51 trillion at the end of last month, the central bank said. However, loans for home repairs and maintenance continued to fall, dropping NT$6.2 billion from a month earlier to NT$291.8 billion, the bank said.
Surface 2 sale date set
Microsoft Corp yesterday announced that it would start shipping its Surface 2 tablet through major retailers in Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand beginning on March 14 to expand the device’s global availability. The Surface 2 will then be available in 29 markets worldwide, including 10 in the Asia-Pacific region, the world’s largest software company said in an e-mailed statement. Unveiled in September last year, the revamped Surface tablet will cost NT$13,888 (US$458) for a 32GB Wi-Fi-only model, and NT$16,888 for a 64GB model in Taiwan, according to Microsoft.