Sat, Dec 30, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Vacant houses at 1.2m, or 14%, up from a decade ago

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

There are 1.2 million vacant houses nationwide, or 14.19 percent of about 8.5 million homes, representing a 1.38 percent increase from a decade ago, a government report released on Thursday said.

The Ministry of the Interior’s Construction and Planning Administration published the findings of a spot check conducted every 10 years. The latest survey sampled 17,705 homes between April 1 and July 15 last year.

Most unoccupied homes (71.02 percent) are concentrated in the six special municipalities, where improving infrastructure has attracted investment.

New Taipei City reported the highest number of vacant houses at 18.62 percent, followed by Kaohsiung (12.38 percent), Taichung (11.65 percent) and Taipei (11.09 percent), the report found.

Taoyuan finished in fifth place with 9.36 percent of unoccupied houses and Tainan with 7.92 percent, the report showed.

The figures suggested an increase of 240,000 vacant houses in New Taipei City, 150,000 in Taoyuan and 120,000 each in Taichung and Kaohsiung, it showed.

Lienchiang County, which includes the island of Matsu, had the lowest number of vacant houses at 400 units, it showed.

By building breakdown, townhouses accounted for 62 percent of vacant houses, apartments with elevators made up 15 percent and apartments without elevators contributed another 14 percent, it said.

Meanwhile, about 80 percent of vacant houses were built prior to 2000, while 23.2 percent of them were between 20 ping and 29 ping (66.1m2 to 95.9m2), it said.

The number of regular residents at occupied houses averaged between two and four, down from three to five the previous decade, the report showed.

People aged 65 and older accounted for 40 percent of regular residents, followed by teenagers (30 percent) and physically challenged people (11 percent), it said.

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