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Taipei 11th most expensive place in Asia for rentals

TAIPEI--Taipei was ranked the 11th most expensive location in Asia and 46th in the world last year for high-end three-bedroom apartment rentals, according to the results of a recent real estate survey.

Rents for an unfurnished three-bedroom apartment in the most expensive areas of the nation's capital averaged NT$94,143 (US$3,180) per month in 2012, the 11th highest in Asia, according to ECA International, which released the survey results Jan. 29.

Hong Kong retained its No. 1 ranking in Asia and globally with an average monthly rent of US$11,550, said the company, an organization for the development and provision of solutions for the management and assignment of employees around the world.

Tokyo came second in Asia, followed by Singapore, Shanghai and Seoul.

Globally, Caracas, the capital city of Venezuela, came in second, mainly because rents there rose by over 30 percent in 2012. The city was followed by New York, Moscow and Tokyo.

The report said average rents around the world for a three-bedroom apartment fell from US$3,080 per month in 2011 to US$3,030, while rents in many markets have stagnated due to the global financial turmoil.

The survey said currency fluctuations also played a role in the cost of accommodation, adding that rents in Singapore, Seoul, Taipei and Kuala Lumpur all increased in local currency, but fell in U.S. dollar terms.

Lee Quane, ECA International's Asia regional director, said that “in many of the locations that are attracting increasing numbers of expatriates, such as Caracas or Mumbai, strong demand and a limited supply of suitable rental properties are pushing up rents for high-end property — in some cases quite dramatically.”

“In other locations such as Hong Kong, demand has been considerable for some time, due to limited land or a burgeoning middle class, and rental prices have more or less remained at the same high levels as this time last year,” he said.

“Asian locations dominate the list of the top 20 most expensive locations for rental property. With more and more companies setting up operations in the region, the need for the type of housing appropriate for international assignees has increased. Yet with an already limited supply of such properties in many countries here, demand significantly exceeds supply, putting upward pressure on rents,” Quane said.

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