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Palace price shows gov't policy may be taking effect

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The government's policy for combating rapidly rising home prices may be taking effect, as the government's real estate transaction database website on Monday revealed that a unit of Taipei's top luxury residential property, The Palace (帝寶), was sold at the lower-than-expected price of NT$2.709 million per ping.

A ping is approximately 3.306 square meters.

Located on the coveted section 3 of Ren-ai Road, the real estate transaction database website on Monday showed that a condo unit at the Palace was sold at the lowest price recorded among the five transactions at the luxury complex since the government's real estate transaction database website went online.

The sale of the condo was in March this year. The unit is located on the 12th floor of the Palace, and measures 205.7 pings. Its new owner is reportedly a business proprietor surnamed Chang, who runs a large scale footware manufacturing company.

In January 2011, Liu Yue Chai, a notable real estate investor better known as “Mother Liu”, bought a Palace 5th floor unit at a foreclosure sale for NT$ 2.06 million per ping. Three more units at the Palace were sold between July and August of last year, on floors 7, 13, and 19, at prices ranging between NT$2.75 million and NT$2.98 million per ping. Within two years, the price per ping at the Palace had increased by more than 30 percent.

The Taiwan House (台灣房屋) think tank stated that amid the government's escalation of housing price suppression policies, coupled with heightened tax auditing in key regions, real-estate speculators have been observed to adopt a more conservative stance. As a result, the real estate market has been cooling and lowering the growth momentum in housing prices.

Among the 972 condo units across Taipei's 22 landmark luxury residential complexes, 85.3 percent are owned by individuals, 12.3 percent are held by domestic enterprises, while 2.4 percent are owned by foreign companies. Foreign companies in particular are found to be holding 11 luxury condo units, of which 7 reside in the Palace. In addition, foreign companies that own luxury homes in Taiwan are mostly registered in the British Virgin Island and Hong Kong. According to real estate agents, many investors purchase homes through companies registered abroad for privacy and tax concerns.  

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