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Greater Taipei home prices hit new highs

Prices of pre-construction and newly completed homes in Taipei and New Taipei City again reached new highs in the third quarter, despite government measures to crack down on speculation to rein in prices, reported a trade publication yesterday.

According to data released by My Housing Magazine, during the July-September period new homes in Taipei and New Taipei City were offered for an average of NT$760,000 and NT$357,000 a ping, respectively. Each ping is 3.3 square meters.

For the first and second quarters, prices of pre-construction and new homes in Taipei stood at NT$713,000 and NT$732,000, respectively. For the third quarter, prices averaged NT$760,000, an increase of 3.8 percent from the second.

Prices in New Taipei City stood at NT$353,000 a ping in the first quarter, which then fell to NT$349,000 in the second. The figure rose to NT$357,000 in the third quarter, an increase of 2.2 percent.

The price increases came despite new efforts by the government to crack down on speculation. Effective Aug. 1, all homes must be registered based on their real transaction value. The intention is to provide more transparency in the market, where buyers can have more exact figures to refer to when purchasing homes.

"Because of this measure, speculators have declined in number, resulting in a drop in sales," said Ni Tsu-jen, researcher with My Housing Magazine. "Yet, land is really hard to get, and urban revitalization programs are stagnant. With a shortage in land, prices remain high in Taipei and New Taipei City."

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