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Central bank enhances protection on mortgages

In response to rapidly escalating housing prices, the Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan) announced that it has listed Zhouziyang in Taoyuan's Wugu area under its mortgage control plan to enhance protection for disadvantaged mortgage borrowers.

Real estate agents have admitted that it was getting increasingly difficult to seal deals after certain areas were put under mortgage control by the central bank, but the real estate market indicated that there were still bargain hunters that wished to benefit from the new mortgage control.

According to Huang Wei-ming, the owner of National Realty's Wugu branch, many first-timers have entered the realty market to scout for bargains. “There are an extra 10 percent of people looking for houses now,” said Huang.

Chinatrust Real Estate's Wugu branch also stated that it had received an increased number of phone calls in recent weeks, despite home owners and prospective buyers not agreeing on selling prices by a margin of at least NT$50,000 per ping. The prices still attracted first-time buyers even if it was hard to seal a deal, said a real estate agent.

The Zhouziyang area, roughly 52 hectares located between the Erchong Floodway (二重疏洪道), Chengtai Road and Xinwu Road, is the largest redevelopment zone in New Taipei City.

As a redevelopment zone, the Zhouziyang area has three advantages as it is located near downtown, has an efficient expressway system and is also right beside a large stretch of grassy land, the Taipei Metropolitan Park, said Taiwan Realty Think Tank spokesman Chang Hsu-lan.

As a long, narrow strip of land, it takes only a short time to reach Banqiao, Zhonghe, Yonghe and Xindian from the Zhouziyang area; being near the Erchong Floodway also meant that the area's residents have basketball courts, skating rinks, pet parks and a riverside within walking distance.

Many first-timers were attracted to the area starting two years ago, when the price for each ping was only NT$260,000 to NT$270,000, which is comparatively cheap when it comes to housing prices in Taipei and New Taipei City.

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