The nation’s housing market is showing signs of developing a potential asset bubble, but urban renewal could help raise housing supply in Taipei and drive down property prices, Minister of Finance Chang Sheng-ford (張盛和) said yesterday.
Following central bank Governor Perng Fai-nan’s (彭淮南) remarks in the legislature last week, Chang is the second head of a financial and economic government agency to express concern over the high property prices in Taipei in two weeks.
“Housing prices in Taipei are very high,” Chang said during a legislative question-and-answer session.
The ratio of home prices to incomes averaged 12.4 in Taipei in the second quarter, much higher than the international standard of 5, data from the Ministry of the Interior showed.
In addition, the return on investment for housing rentals in Taipei has been on a downward trend, indicating some risks of a property bubble.
Chang said a shortage of housing supply has been the major factor behind the continuous rise in property prices in the capital, with data showing that housing demand in Taipei exceeds supply by about 80,000 households.
That makes urban renewal a necessity as it could increase housing supply in Taipei by building new apartments with more floors and units.
While demand in New Taipei City (新北市) falls short of supply by more than 70,000 households, Chang said overall demand in the two cities is in line with supply, an indication that extending the mass transportation system to suburban Taipei would also help solve the issue in the long run.
Meanwhile, the ministry is planning to implement new rules concerning income tax revenue on housing sales in Taipei to raise taxes on luxury properties and curb speculative transactions, are which are expected to take effect next year.
However, various lawmakers questioned the ministry’s decision to limit the expansion of the luxury tax in its latest revision of the regulation.
Last month, the minister said the ministry would not change the luxury tax on real estate resold within two years to property resold within three years or more.
Chang said the ministry decided not to change the tax too much because of concerns over the continuing sluggish economic sentiment.
Following the ministry’s submission of a revised draft on the property tax to the Cabinet for review in the current legislative session, Chang said he expects housing prices in Taipei to show a slight increase in the next six months.
The Czech Republic’s Senate on Wednesday passed a resolution that supports a possible visit by the senate president to Taiwan. The resolution, initiated by Czech Senator Pavel Fischer, was passed with 50 votes in favor, one against and one abstention. The resolution blasts Beijing for having its Prague embassy send a letter to former Czech Senate president Jaroslav Kubera earlier this year threatening repercussions for Czech businesses if he visited Taiwan. The resolution shows the Senate’s support for a visit to Taiwan by Senate President Milos Vystrcil, accompanied by Czech business representatives, as the visit would be in the diplomatic long-term interests
The government and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday both spoke out against plans by the Chinese government to enact a national security law in Hong Kong. Chinese officials yesterday confirmed that the National People’s Congress would review a bill “on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to safeguard national security.” The Presidential Office said that the announcement was evidence that the “one country, two systems” framework fundamentally clashes with democratic freedoms. The de-escalation of tensions between Hong Kong and Beijing relies on the Chinese government’s willingness to respond to Hong Kongers’ demands,
STRONGER DEFENSES: The announcement could be considered tacit US support for the nation’s indigenous arms manufacturing program, Joseph Wu told lawmakers Just hours after President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) inauguration on Wednesday, the US Department of State’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced in Washington the possible sale of 18 MK-48 Heavy Weight Torpedoes to Taiwan. Reacting to the announcement, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday told a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee that the ministry applauded the US move, which would help to uphold the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA). The TRA states that the US should “provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character … to maintain the capacity of the US to resist any resort
NPP WARNING: The NPP’s chairman said that a security law proposed by Beijing means it has renounced its promise to maintain ‘one country, two systems’ in HK The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) yesterday proposed changing the law to provide protection for those seeking political asylum. China at the opening of the National People’s Congress in Beijing on Thursday introduced a draft security law for Hong Kong to ban treason, subversion and sedition, with a review expected next week. TPP caucus whip Jang Chyi-lu (張其祿) said that the party is concerned about democracy advocates in Hong Kong and has taken action to support them. The party has proposed an amendment to Article 18 of the Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau (香港澳門關係條例), which stipulates that the government can offer