Land prices in Taipei County jump to new high
Sat, Jul 24, 2010
The China Post/Asia News Network

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.

Competitive bidding from investors lifted the price to a record high level for land transactions in the county.

The floor price was set by the county government at between NT$850,000 (S$172,380) and NT$900,000 per ping (36 square feet) for a projected revenue of about NT$7 billion for the combined area of 7,887 ping.

The actual selling price amounted to between NT$1.47 million and NT$2.12 million per ping to bring in a total of more than NT$13 billion for the county government.

Among the 76 bids tendered by construction firms, real estate developers, insurance firms, and financial institutions, Lih Pao Construction paid the highest price of NT$2.13 million a ping for a land parcel, eclipsing the previous record of NT$1.78 million set for a land lot near the Banqiao Railway Station in 1997.

The Farglory Group, one of Taiwan's biggest construction firms and realty developers, was the biggest winner as its construction and life insurance companies snapped up five land lots totaling 3,700 ping with capital investment of about NT$6.5 billion in Xinzhuang.

The group already owns more than 6,000 ping of land in the same area.

Chao Teng-hsiung, chairman of Farglory, said the group will make good use of the land by building advanced energy-saving and ecological friendly communities.

Farglory was already contracted by the Taipei City Government to build the Taipei Dome, nicknamed as ?Big Egg? sports center,

In addition, Chao said his group has decided to establish two new companies, capitalized at US$50 million and US$20 million respectively, for construction and realty development business operations on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

The Taipei County Government has been planning to sell 33 land lots totaling about 7.6 hectares for commercial use in Xinzhuang in two phases. The land parcels sold yesterday have a combined area of 2.6 hectares.

In an earlier auction of land parcels for residential use in Xinzhuang on June 25, the price also set a new record of NT$1.59 million per ping.

Many realty market analysts said the land prices in the Greater Taipei area will continue the upward trend despite some measures taken by the Central Bank of China in an attempt to cool down speculation on the market.

The limited supply of available land space in Taipei City and Taipei County prompts investors to outbid each other to get hold on the much-vaunted land parcels in anticipation of generous return on long-term investment by selling completed housing units at hugely inflated prices, they said.

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. -The China Post/ANN

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