Legislation to prevent the hoarding of real estate for tax purposes should be reviewed swiftly and forwarded to the legislature or the Executive Yuan should propose its own solution, rights advocates and opposition lawmakers said yesterday.
Social Housing Advocacy Consortium secretary-general Peng Yang-kae (彭揚凱) said that despite rising home prices, the number of people who have more than one house has increased, leading to increased centralization of realty ownership.
Of the 52,600 units constructed over the past six years, 53.5 percent were not for self-use, Peng said, citing statistics from the Ministry of Finance.
The number of people who own properties that they do not use themselves has grown on average by 7 percentage points per year, from 336,000 in 2015 to 502,000 this year, Peng said.
Housing constructed in the past five years comprise the greatest number of vacancies at 37.16 percent, he said.
People who own more than one house are more likely to purchase a house that has just been built, he said.
It is unfair that wealthy Taiwanese are not taxed more for buying new houses and leaving them empty, he said.
New Power Party Legislator Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智) said that Cathay Real Estate Development Co data show that prices in the third quarter increased 4.05 percent from the previous quarter, rising to NT$319,600 per ping (3.3m2).
Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics data showed that last year there were about 1.66 million vacant units, or one vacant unit for every six occupied ones, Chiu said.
It is unfortunate that the Executive Yuan in March backtracked on a realty hoarding bill, he said, adding that it should expedite such legislation.
Taiwan People’s Party Legislator Tsai Pi-ru (蔡壁如) said that the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) should keep its promise to implement housing justice.
The government cannot blame local administrations for what ultimately is the central government’s duty, Tsai Pi-ru said.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lee Kuei-min (李貴敏) said the government must offer an alternative if it feels that a hoarding tax would not stem rising prices.
If not, the Executive Yuan should expedite the review of the proposed realty tax and forward it to the legislature for review, Lee said.
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