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Taiwan home market nears peak: gov't

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Finance Ministry on Thursday said the uptrend in Taiwan's real estate market is nearing its peak, clarifying that Taipei is the only target for government efforts to dampen speculation in 2014.

Recent transactions of single units at The Palace (帝寶), Taiwan's most expensive upscale apartment complex, have reached almost NT$3 million (US$100,000) per ping, a level which is nearing the so-called “Perng Fai-nan Line” of NT$3 million per ping. The news, meanwhile, has raised public anger at high housing prices.

The “Perng Fai-nan Line” is named after Taiwan's Central Bank head, and is believed by many to refer to the maximum per-ping price which the government can tolerate before it steps in to suppress further price surges.

Even so, Finance Minister Chang Shen-ford (張盛和) yesterday made no comment on whether this is, in fact, the point of acute danger designated by the “Perng Fai-nan Line.”

'I never dream of a home in The Palace': Chang

Chang argued that The Palace is just an exception, saying that “real home-seekers need not fret themselves to death just because they can't afford a unit in The Palace ... My wife and I actually settled in a very small home when we got married,” he said.

He said people can opt to buy a home in emerging districts, including Linkou, Tamsui, Chuwei and Beitou. “I've never thought of moving into The Palace,” Chang added.

Before stepping into the Legislative Yuan for questioning, Chang called upon local media to focus less on The Palace. New price records set by The Palace usually make newspaper headlines, creating a media hype which will only aggravate property market speculation, according to Chang.

Chang told local media that the force of the price surge in Taiwan's overall housing property market is already dying down, with Taipei the only exception. He revealed that the government will make an effort to curb speculation in Taipei's housing property market in 2014.

Last month the Central Bank sounded an alarm to signal the risk of a price bubble burst in Taiwan's real estate market.

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Finance Minister Chang Sheng-ford (張盛和) speaks at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, yesterday. According to Chang, while the unit price of a luxury apartment in Taipei hit a record high recently, prices mostly remain level in other parts of Taiwan.

(CNA)

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