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Taipei housing market 'least affordable': report

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Statistics released yesterday by the Construction and Planning Agency (CPAMI) showed Taipei City's home price to income ratio (PIR) stood atop the globe at 15.01 in late 2013, branding itself as the most unaffordable city to buy property.

CPAMI released the first PIR results of 20 Taiwanese cities/counties based on data collected from the actual housing transaction price registry system.

The registry system, which records actual selling prices, was launched in August 2010 in an effort to curb speculation in the housing market. Until then, accurate information on sales prices in the housing market was hard to come by, enabling land developers and real estate brokers to manipulate housing prices.

CPAMI's compilation indicated that Taiwan's average PIR was 8.37 in late 2013, with Taipei, New Taipei and Penghu County above the average at 15.01, 12.67 and 8.65 times respectively.

Pingtung County, Keelung City and Miaoli County were those cities with relatively more affordable housing in Taiwan, the PIR of which are 4.51, 4.84 and 5.91, respectively.

Chuang Meng-han (莊孟翰), a professor of industrial economics at Tamkang University, yesterday told United Evening News he expects the actual PIR results to be higher given a higher ratio of public utilities in Taiwan's housing property.

15 Years a Slave to Own a Home in Taipei

Even so, the official figures have been impressively high, Chuang said.

According to the Demographia International's 2014 Housing Affordability Survey published in January, Hong Kong was branded the most unaffordable, followed by Vancouver and San Francisco.

The survey said that Hong Kong's average home price rose to 14.9 times gross annual median household income from 13.5 times in 2013, the highest ever level recorded by the survey in its 10-year history.

With the PIR at 15.01 and 12.67, Taipei City and New Taipei City have edged out Hong Kong and San Francisco for the top and third spots among the world's most unaffordable cities to buy property.

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