Mortgage payments in the final quarter of last year took up 36.81 percent of the national average household income, rising 1.66 percentage points from a year earlier and suggesting a decline in home affordability, Ministry of the Interior data showed.
Taipei topped the average after mortgage payments rose 6.01 percentage points to 63.12 percent, with housing prices equal to 15.78 times household income, according to the latest government survey.
That means that home owners in the capital have to save 16 years to digest mortgage payments without any other spending.
New Taipei City followed with mortgage payments taking up 48.36 percent of household income, a 0.35 percentage point increase from a year earlier, the ministry said, adding that housing prices there represent 12.09 times household income.
Mortgage burdens below 30 percent of household income are considered reasonably affordable and those above 40 percent suggest low affordability, while those higher than 50 percent indicate extremely low affordability, it added.
Housing prices in Taichung grew increasingly unaffordable, as mortgage burdens took up 40.08 percent of household income, corresponding to 10.02 times overall family earnings, it said.
Mortgage payments in Changhua County accounted for 34.51 percent of household income, with housing prices growing to 8.63 times household income, the ministry said.
Developers have pitched properties in Changhua as part of the greater Taichung area in the past few years, citing their geographic proximity and transport convenience.
Tainan and Kaohsiung have mortgage burdens of 30.94 percent and 31.12 percent respectively, adding 1.47 and 1.98 percentage points from a year earlier, as major tech firms build their presence in the cities, it said.
Keelung and Hsinchu, as well Chaiyi, Pingtung and Yunlin counties, were considered reasonably affordable as their mortgage burdens remained lower than 30 percent, it said.
Mortgages in scenic Nantou, Yilan, Hualien and Taitung counties all rose above the 30 percent level, it said.
Mortgage burdens rose to 31.33 percent in Penghu County where a lack of sufficient deals might have skewed the data, the ministry said.
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