Fri, May 13, 2011 - Page 3 News List

New mortgage plan to rationalize house prices is finalized

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff Reporter

Premier Wu Den-yih, right, accompanied by Cabinet Secretary-General Lin Join-sane, speaks during a press conference yesterday explaining measures the government is to introduce to address high housing prices and property speculation.

Photo: Lo Pei-der, Taipei Times

The government yesterday finalized a home mortgage scheme it said would rationalize housing prices and create a more equitable real-estate environment.

Under the plan, loans of up to NT$7.2 million (US$251,800) would be available for a maximum of 30 years, with a preferential interest rate offered for the first 20 years.

Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) told a press conference the program was part of a supplementary package to the tax on short-term housing transaction that is expected to take effect on June 1.

To expand home mortgage opportunities, the government lifted the limit on the number of applicants for two current mortgage programs, one for people between the ages of 20 and 45 and the other for low and medium-income families.

It also removed the budget cap on another home mortgage program for first-time homebuyers above the age of 20.

In addition, the government has extended the repayment period for the programs from 20 years to 30 years, although the preferential interest rate will only apply to the first 20 years, with a grace period of up to five years for payments.

Effective from yesterday, newly married couples between the ages of 20 and 45 or couples with children whose annual family income is less than NT$2.47 million in Taipei City and New Taipei City (新北市), or NT$1.84 million in Greater Kaohsiung and NT$1.66 million in other cities and counties, and who have purchased no more than one mortgaged residence the two years before they apply for a new loan can take out a preferential loan of up to NT$7 million. Under the previous scheme, the maximum amount for such a loan was NT$2 million.

Economically disadvantaged families, defined as those with annual family income of less than NT$1.58 million in Taipei City and New Taipei City, or NT$1.11 million in Greater Kaohsiung and NT$1.03 million in other cities and counties, who have purchased no more than one mortgaged residence within the two years before they apply for a new loan will be eligible for a maximum preferential loan of NT$7.2 million, from NT$2.2 million at present.

To help more first-time homebuyers, the government also removed the maximum allowable limit of NT$200 billion in preferential loans undertaken by government-owned banks.

The preferential interest rate on the loans will range from 1.337 percent to 2.195 percent for general homebuyers and 0.762 percent for low and medium-income families.

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