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Trading of upscale apartments plummets in Jan.

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taipei City Government's Department of Land disclosed January's real estate transaction data from the government's database, which showed that properties of 40 pings or less appeared to be the most popular, while trading of upscale apartments saw a significant drop.

The Ministry of Interior started to register real estate transaction data in its online database about 1 1/2 years ago. The database has only recently opened for public review. It lists about 643,000 transactions so far, and the government aims to use it to promote transparency in real estate transactions.

The database accumulated a total of 3,899 transactions in January, including sales, leases and pre-sale transactions. Real estate types listed in the database in sequence of transaction frequency are mansion units (53.7 percent), apartment units (21.1 percent), studios (20 percent) and office buildings and storefronts (5.2 percent).

Due to higher transaction volumes of high-priced studios, trading of properties with higher unit prices grew, while trading of properties with higher total prices dipped.

Only Three Upscale Units Sold In Greater Taipei

Transaction data shows that there were only 22 transaction records for upscale apartments this year so far, three of which were priced above NT$80 million in the Greater Taipei area, and the other 19 properties were priced above NT$50 million in other parts of Taiwan.

The number of upscale apartment transactions dropped 86 percent, compared with the monthly average of 164 transactions last year. The number of upscale apartment transactions totaled 1,990 in Taiwan last year.

Real estate agencies said that the government's efforts to “suppress” higher-priced real estate, such as levying a “luxury tax,” have resulted in lower transaction volumes of higher-priced properties.

The government also recently adopted a taxation method to calculate property transaction tax based on actual transaction prices, instead of the much lower book values. Newer high-priced properties located throughout Taiwan are under closer government scrutiny and are now subject to higher taxation.

NT$5-20 Mil., 40 Ping or Less Most Popular

According to government statistics, the proportion of studio transactions saw the highest increase in January, while transactions of mansion units and other property types declined.

As for transactions in terms of areas, properties of 40 pings or less were the most popular, followed by properties of 40-80 pings and then properties of more than 80 pings. One ping equals 3.3057 square meters, or 36 square feet.

In regards to ages of property, properties aged between 5 and 30 were traded most often in January, followed by properties aged under 5 years and properties aged more than 30 years.

In terms of price range, properties priced between NT$5 and NT$20 million were traded most often, followed by properties priced above NT$30 million and properties priced between NT$20 and NT$30 million.

In regards to unit price, units traded between NT$400,000 and NT$600,000 per ping were most popular, followed by properties traded between NT$600,000 and NT$800,000 per ping, properties traded above NT$800,000 per ping and properties traded below NT$400,000 per ping.

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