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Real estate association publishes list of top stories

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Chinese Association of Real Estate Brokers (CAREB, 不動產仲介經紀公會) yesterday announced its list of this year's top 10 news stories, naming the rise of bullish sentiments amid the impending tapering of quantitative easing measures in the U.S. as the leading story of 2013 at a press conference.

The lead story chosen by the association represents the resurgence of concerns over the prospects of a housing bubble crisis, a stark contrast to the red-hot local markets. The story implies that influenced by the Fed's intent to begin tapering off the scale of quantitative easing measures, Taiwan's interest rates may begin an upward climb, giving rise to bullish sentiments among commentators who worry that activity in the real estate market may be stifled, leading to an eventual bubble.

In second place is the latest development in the story of the battle for the most expensive home in Taipei City, when a NT$2.982 million per ping Daan District (大安區) luxury condo unseated the long reign of a Xinyi District-based property, which had been the jewel of the city at the price of NT$2.76 million per ping. A ping is approximately 3.306 square meters.

Taiwan's staggering 9.2 income-to-home price ratio, and the Ministry of Finance's announcement that luxury tax amendments will not include further measures to curb rising home prices garnered the third and fourth place, said the association.

The unseating of the Shin Kong Life Tower (新光摩天樓) by Taipei 101 as the most expensive land in Taipei City took fifth place, while record high real estate sales prices at properties along Zhongxiao West Road and Chunghua Road, each exceeding NT$10 million per ping, took sixth place.

In seventh place is the story covering the outflow of domestic capital seek real estate investment opportunities abroad.

The eighth to 10th top story of the year are the central bank's warning that properties in the Linkou (林口), Sanxia (三峽) and Tamsui (淡水) Districts may be approaching conditions of a housing market bubble, the commencement of sales for a public housing complex in Linkou at the accessible price of NT$145,000 per ping and finally the three “arrows” or stimulus policies launched by the Financial Supervisory Commission (金管會) to curb rampantly rising home prices and improve a then-listless equities market.

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