Tue, Aug 19, 2014 - Page 13 News List

School system drives up prices of Taipei studios

RESIDENCY QUALIFICATION:Changes to the school system means that parents are buying studios so they will be located in the catchment areas of top schools

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Studio prices in Taipei’s popular school districts have risen to a new high as Taiwanese parents seek to win residency qualifications for their children following the introduction of the 12-year compulsory education program, Taiwan Realty Co (台灣房屋) said yesterday.

Several pre-sale studio units in the city’s Daan District (大安) were traded at NT$1.6 million (US$53,000) per ping (3.3m2) in June, according to the government’s real-price transaction data released yesterday.

Studios that measure between 8.6 ping and 12.56 ping cost between NT$12.8 million and NT$20.5 million, data showed.

“Studios of such size are too small to house a family, but enable residents to win qualification for their children to go to schools in the vicinity,” Taiwan Realty spokeswoman Charlene Chang (張旭嵐) said.

Many students vie to study at Affiliated Senior High School of National Taiwan Normal University, known as HSNU, one of the highest-ranking high schools in Taiwan.

The competition to get into HSNU is fierce, as the High-School Entrance Exam scores of admitted students are typically among the top 3 percent in the country.

However, this year, many students won admission without the entrance exam thanks to the extension of compulsory education to 12 years from the previous nine, Chang said.

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) promised to keep the exam-free admission ratio at more than 50 percent in the future, after parents and students called for reform in protests over the new entrance mechanism.

Concerns over school districts aside, studios in Daan District might benefit from capital gains, given their close proximity to Daan Forest Park and with the MRT Xinyi Line now in service, Chang said.

However, prominent owners of luxury homes are seeking to cash out as the government deepens credit controls and other tightening measures.

Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控) chairman Daniel Tsai (蔡明忠) and his brother Richard Tsai (蔡明興) sold three luxury housing apartments in downtown Taipei in May, data showed.

Hsu Hsien-hsien (許嫺嫺), the wife of Shin Kong Financial Holding Co (新光金控) chairman Eugene Wu (吳東進), sold a luxury apartment in June.

Kwong Fong Industries Group (廣豐實業) chairman Ho Ming-yu (賀鳴玉) also sold an apartment unit in the Palace complex (帝寶) on Renai Road (仁愛路) according to government data.

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