Fri, May 04, 2018 - Page 3 News List

House price disclosure amendments finalized

TIMELY DISCLOSURE:An interior ministry official said the bills would shorten the registration period for house prices, which are crucial to real-estate sales

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Apartment buildings in Taipei’s Xinyi District are pictured on Oct. 17 last year.

Photo: Hsu Yi-ping, Taipei Times

The Executive Yuan yesterday finalized draft amendments to three acts governing the registration of real-estate prices, aiming to boost transparency in the housing market by disclosing selling prices by property rather than by road section, as under the current system.

Draft amendments to the Equalization of Land Rights Act (平均地權條例), the Land Administration Agent Act (地政士法) and the Real Estate Broking Management Act (不動產經紀業管理條例) are to be submitted to the Legislative Yuan for review.

To ensure correct and prompt disclosures of property prices, the proposed amendments say that house sellers and buyers must jointly register the selling price of a property when they apply to transfer property rights at land registration authorities, rather than within 30 days of the completion of a transaction, Deputy Minister of the Interior Hua Ching-chun (花敬群) told a news conference in Taipei.

This would shorten the registration period by up to 30 days, as the real-time disclosure of house prices is crucial to real-estate sales, Hua said, adding that the responsibility of registering the prices should be transferred from licensed land administration agents to house sellers and buyers if the draft amendments are passed.

If approved, the amendments would remove ambiguity from property values by disclosing the price of each house, rather than in groups of 30, Hua said.

Under existing regulations, the selling price of the Ministry of the Interior — at No. 5, Xuzhou Rd., Taipei — would be disclosed in a group comprising all houses from No. 1 to No. 30 on Xuzhou Road, whereas the proposed changes would make the selling price of each house available, he said.

The rule is to be retroactive and would affect about 2 million houses in the ministry’s house price registration system, he said.

Existing rules do not require developers to register selling prices, which leads to insufficient price information, but the amendments would require them to disclose selling prices, he said.

As developers of pre-sold homes are currently only required to file house prices within 30 days of delivering a pre-sold property, the prices often date back two to three years, thus failing to reflect current house values, Hua said.

Developers would need to declare the selling price of presold homes within 30 days of when the transaction agreements are signed to ensure that house values reflect current prices, he said, adding that the rule would also apply to developers who entrust their house sales to real-estate brokers.

The amendments also revise penalties for sellers, buyers and brokers who file misleading or false property information, levying fines that are in proportion to the severity of the offense.

A fine of between NT$6,000 and NT$30,000 would be levied if people were found to have committed a minor violation — for example, misreporting the number of rooms in a house.

The fine would be increased to between NT$30,000 and NT$150,000 should they fail to promptly declare a house price or file untruthful information about a house price or floor space, and raised to between NT$150,000 and NT$750,000 if the parties failed to correct the misinformation after receiving three fines.

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