Mon, Jul 17, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Taipei sees steepest drop in land prices

OUT OF REACH:Home prices were 9.24 times the average salary, meaning it would take nine years to buy a home if the purchaser bought nothing else, a report said

Staff writer, with CNA

Urban land prices continued to fall as the local property market remained in the doldrums, with Taipei prices falling at the steepest rate, statistics released on Saturday by the Ministry of the Interior showed.

The urban land price index, an important measure of the local property market, fell 0.49 percent during the period from Oct. 1 last year to March 31 from the previous half-year, data from the ministry’s second semi-annual report showed.

An earlier report said that urban land prices dropped 0.35 percent from April 1 to Sept. 30 last year.

The latest drop was the steepest since 2010, the ministry said, adding that Taipei, the most closely watched property market in the nation, suffered the largest fall of 1.53 percent.

In response, the Taipei City Government said that the city has plenty of old buildings that are in districts that fail to impress home buyers due to their relatively inconvenient transportation and a lack of infrastructure, which dragged prices down at a faster rate.

Meanwhile, land prices in New Taipei City fell 0.30 percent during the six-month period, while a 0.48 percent fall was recorded in Taoyuan and Taichung posted a 0.22 percent drop.

However, Tainan and Kaohsiung bucked the trend, registering 0.90 percent and 0.30 percent increases respectively, the ministry said.

Lienchiang County recorded the second-largest fall of 1.35 percent, while Kinmen County enjoyed the largest increase of 1.36 percent ,ahead of Taitung County (1.32 percent) and Yilan County (1.18 percent), the data showed.

Commenting on the report, the Kinmen County Government said that the increase in land prices reflected the county’s efforts to develop its tourism industry, which has created jobs and energized business, which has in turn boosted the property market.

The total number of land transactions during the period was 239,240, up 2.47 percent from six months ago, but down 8.25 percent from a year earlier, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, another ministry report showed that the ratio of home mortgages to household income was 38.04 percent in the first quarter, meaning that salaried workers had to use nearly 40 percent of their earnings to repay home loans.

However, the latest ratio was 0.30 percentage points lower than that from the fourth quarter last year.

On average, home prices were 9.24 times the average salary, the data showed, meaning that to afford a home, people would have to refrain from spending any of their annual income for more than nine years.

This indicates that home ownership remains out of reach for many Taiwanese.

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