Home vacancy rate drops to 9.13%

  • By Crystal Hsu / Journalist

The nationwide housing vacancy rate stood at 9.13%, or 812,947 units, in the first half of last year, declining for the fourth quarter to the lowest level since the launch of the investigation in 2009, the Home Office said in a report released yesterday.

The latest data represents a decline of 0.1 percentage point from six months earlier and suggests the ongoing housing boom is supported by real demand and the pressure to sell is not building up, despite controls credit and other tightening measures.

Of the six special municipalities, where the central bank has banned grace periods for second home mortgages, Taipei has the lowest vacancy rate at 6.82 percent, he said.

New Taipei City recorded the second-lowest vacancy rate at 7.76%, followed by Taichung at 8.39%, Tainan at 8.67% and Taoyuan at 8.92%, he said. indicated, adding that Kaohsiung is the only special municipality with an above-average vacancy rate. rate of 9.63 percent.

The government arrived at the conclusions using electricity consumption data that defines homes using less than 60 kilowatts of electricity per month as unoccupied.

Vacant homes are the result of slow sales of new complexes or purchases for real estate investment or hoarding.

The number of unsold homes reached more than 70,000 units in the second quarter of last year, with the six special municipalities accounting for 74.51%, according to the semi-annual survey.

The Finance Department has cited lower housing vacancy rates to resist calls by lawmakers to impose a hoarding tax on unoccupied homes to help cool the market.

Kinmen County has the highest vacancy rate at 17.99%, followed by Yilan County at 15.87% and Taitung County at 13.87%, he said.

Policymakers are under pressure to curb real estate prices which are expected to continue to rise due to rising costs of building materials, central bank governor Yang Chin-long (楊金龍) said.

The central bank has warned of over-indebtedness and said it could hike interest rates by 25 basis points this year.

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