Tue, May 01, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Mortgage payments eat up incomes in greater Taipei

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Housing affordability challenges in Taiwan are persisting, especially in Taipei and New Taipei City, even though housing prices dropped modestly, the Ministry of the Interior’s Construction and Planning Agency said in a report released yesterday.

Home prices in Taipei constituted 14.99 times the national average anual household income in the final quarter of last year, easing 0.14 percent from the previous quarter and 0.2 percent from a year earlier, the report said.

However, mortgages took up 61.52 percent of household income in Taipei, translating into an ultra-high burden, compared with 37.58 percent nationwide, it said.

A mortgage burden of up to 30 percent is deemed as reasonable. A burden of between 30 and 40 percent of household income indicates slightly low affordability; between 40 and 50 percent indicates low affordability; and a mortgage burden of more half of household income indicates ultra-low affordability.

New Taipei City had ultra-low affordability, with home prices corresponding to 12.71 times the national average household income and mortgage burdens in the city eating up 52.19 percent of household income on average, the report said.

Affordability has been extremely low in New Taipei City since the first quarter of 2013, it said.

Taichung ranked third in unaffordability with mortgage burdens taking up 39.45 percent of household income, followed by Changhua County at 36.09 percent and Hsinchu County at 35.39 percent.

Mortgage burdens in Kaohsiung and Taoyuan, and Yilan, Hualien, Nantou, Miaoli, Tainan and Yunlin counties also exceeded the 30 percent mark, the report said.

Home prices in Taitung, Chiayi, Keelung and Penghu counties were considered reasonable, it said.

However, the sample size in Penghu was fewer than 100 in the survey, casting doubt on its reliability, the report said.

New homes — whose construction were finished less than three years ago — accounted for 22.32 percent of the samples, down from three months earlier and from the previous year, as buyers showed less interest, it said.

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