Wed, Jan 12, 2011 - Page 1 News List

The Palace unit goes for NT$271m

HIGH-CLASS SQUATTERS:Unidentified people had reportedly occupied the apartment and wanted a huge compensation package to leave, keeping bidders away

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff Reporter

The winning bidder yesterday agreed to pay a record high of almost NT$2 million (US$68,630) per ping (3.3m2) in the second foreclosure auction of an apartment unit at Taipei’s high-scale luxury apartment complex The Palace (帝寶), just more than a month after the bidder’s son failed to close the deal over legal concerns.

Liu Yue-chai (劉月釵), a well-known home investor in Taiwan, won the unit measuring 164.86 ping on the fifth floor of the complex near the intersection of -Renai Road and Jianguo S Road for NT$271 million, 14.83 percent higher than the floor price.

Liu’s offer was NT$10 million lower than her son’s winning bid on Nov. 30. Her son, Yu Chang-che (俞昌哲), failed to close the deal because of concerns over legal disputes, local media reported.

“My client has purchased real-estate properties prompted by long-term investment needs,” said Liu’s lawyer, Huang Kun-chien (黃坤鍵). “Please quit referring to her as a speculator.”

The latest bid translated into NT$1.98 million per ping, still a record for luxury housing in Taipei, analysts said. Under auction rules, Liu has to pay for the difference from the previous offer.

Local media reported that unidentified people have occupied the apartment since former owner Lin Fu-hui (林富慧) was jailed last year as she could not pay back NT$120 million in debt to another company nor NT$1 million in back taxes.

The occupants reportedly demanded a huge relocation compensation, a real-estate analyst said on condition of anonymity.

The speculator label prompted lenders to raise mortgage hurdles and Yu was forced to back out at the last minute, the analyst said.

“Liu should have taken care of the issue before entering the auction,” the analyst said.

Liu was the only bidder yesterday, as most prospective investors stayed away from the auction because of concern that authorities would not remove the occupants in the apartment unit, said Jeffrey Huang (黃增福), an assistant manager at local housing agency Yungching Rehouse Group (永慶房仲集團).

Except for this particular case, demand for the city’s luxury housing remains strong, fueled by warming ties between Taiwan and China and limited supply on the market, Huang said.

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