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Taipei non-elevator apartment prices fall along with hopes for urban renewal

A survey released by a brokerage firm yesterday found Taipei's non-elevator apartments saw a severe price decline in June, as people became more pessimistic about the so-called "urban renewal projects," where developers tear down old buildings and build new ones.

According to the poll conducted by Chinatrust Real Estate, apartment prices in June stood at NT$481,000 a ping (3.3 square meters), down 11.6 percent from the NT$544,000 in May.

Chinatrust said that the price decline came after the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) passed the amendment to the Urban Renewal Act, making the rules for such projects more restrictive.

MOI passed the amendment after the so-called Wenlinyuan controversy. Wenlinyuan is an urban renewal project in Shilin District, where one household from the old apartment refused to take part in the program and got its property torn down anyway. The household is now in a standoff situation with the rest of the residents who consented to the project. Both parties remain belligerent in the standoff, which has kept the developer from building a new apartment at the site.

By district in Taipei, Nangang fell by the biggest margin in June, where apartment prices fell to NT$290,000 a ping from NT$450,000 in May, or a margin of 35 percent. The figure was followed by 30 percent for Wanhua District and 21.4 percent for Xinyi District.

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