The Taipei County Government successfully sold yesterday all of the 12 commercial use land lots in the region earmarked as Xinzhuang City auxiliary metropolitan center.The issue is clearly illustrated at the end of the report:
Competitive bidding from investors lifted the price to a record high level for land transactions in the county.
It's a long-running complaint, and as long as the island's domestic political economy runs on land speculation and construction, it will continue to be a complaint. Construction, development, and financial firms competed for the lots, on which they expect to put up apartments which they will sell at inflated prices. Luckily a buyer is born every minute! This report remarks that although sales of state-owned land have been forbidden, it is done anyway. A recent piece by Jens kastner highlights the role of Taiwan businessmen from China in driving the boom. This Aug 2008 piece in Commonwealth Magazine said prices would fall, though reports I saw prior to the 2008 election said that everyone expected prices to rise, and that investors should look at firms with large land holdings in the Taipei basin.
Other analysts concerned about the runaway housing prices said the county government is making the same mistake as Taipei City by selling off public land and helping fan the fire for realty speculation.
Under mounting pressure and complaints, the Taipei City Government has now adopted a new strategy of holding the land and building housing units in cooperation with construction firms, to provide citizens with more apartments with affordable rent rates.
Runaway housing prices in Taipei and other metropolitan areas have long been rated among the top complaints held by the people against the government.
Taiwan's high land prices appear to be a silent driver of rising income inequality. They are also an important way that voters experience their own falling purchasing power.
Another indicator: last week the urban land price index, compiled twice annually, skyrocketed:
Taiwan's urban land price index has risen 2.49 percent since last October, marking the biggest increase in the past 17 years, the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) reported Wednesday.The KMT Administration also passed an NT$200 billion bill to revitalize 4,000 rural villages in Taiwan, just in time for the elections. The vote was carried out after the DPP walked out of the legislature.
The latest MOI-compiled urban land price index showed that land prices increased most steeply on the outlying island of Kinmen during the six-month period at 6.61 percent, followed by a 4.35 percent surge in Taipei County and a 4.31 percent gain in Taipei City.
The Kinmen County government said the rise was mainly fueled by the central government's decision to begin construction of a long-discussed Kinmen Bridge late this year and the launch of many investment projects by the county government to develop the island county into a tourist and duty-free shopping paradise.
REFERENCE: A PRC media report on one of Taiwan's most pricey developments.
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- School closes satellite schools in China and Taiwan after finding rampant cheating. Shocked, I tell you, shocked.
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- Japanese and Korean companies feel the heat from ECFA. Let's hope Japan does offer Taiwan an FTA as the article comments.
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- Politics and Cycling in Taiwan
- Miaoli farm protest at Global Voices.
- Finally: For months I've been tracking reports that the verdict on the sinking of the SKorean vessel by a NKorean submarine is suspect. The MSM, as always, is right on top of things, catching those stories....months later. Here are related articles from weeks ago: one, two, three.UPDATE: And another today.
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