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Central Bank moves to cool real estate market expected

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- As Taipei's luxury home unit transaction prices hit new highs, some suspect that the central bank's policy review meeting today will herald the launch of new measures to suppress surging realty prices.

Two apartment units in the Palace Mansion were sold to the same buyer, surnamed Wang, at NT$2.982 million per ping (3.31 square meters) in July. The two apartments are 160.5 and 146.1 pings in area, and their total prices reached NT$397 million and NT$355 millions, respectively.

Although the Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan) launched various measures to suppress rises in the local real estate prices, housing prices in Taipei have continued to rise.

A luxury apartment at the Royal Castle (皇翔御琚) was sold at NT$2.76 million per ping in June this year, reaching a record high, which however was soon surpassed by the new transaction at the Palace Mansion registered in July.

When the Shilin Official Residence (士林官邸) was put onto the market, the price was set at NT$3 million per ping, which drew severe criticism from Central Bank Governor Perng Fai-nan (彭淮南), who lashed out, saying that it was an act of “unfair real estate speculation.”

In 2012, Perng met with presidents of several local banks, and requested that state-owned banks limit mortgages granted to deluxe apartments and instructed that loan amounts not exceed 60 percent of total price tags. Many believe that NT$3 million per ping is Perng's defense line, or his “upper limit.”

The central bank is scheduled to hold a board meeting today, and some suspect that it will launch new measures to suppress surging realty prices. Perng denied that he had tried to “suppress the housing market,” and that measures launched by the central bank are for “risk control” only.

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