What to look for when buying a house in Taiwan?

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Re: What to look for when buying a house in Taiwan?

Postby Rotalsnart » 18 Jan 2011, 12:41

headhonchoII wrote:Realistically speaking both the Taiwan stock market and the property market in general don't have much more 'upside'. If you have the cash then investment wise Wanhua, Dihua area would be a good bet, gongyu the best bet because of the land. A place for living might be a different proposition...I'm done living in gongyu myself.
Taiwan did have a major property crash in the 1990s and there was a smaller crash during SARS in 2003. Just like property booms the world over this one is fuelled by historically cheap credit along with a real improvement in economic conditions,in Taipei at least. When China's boom comes to an end so will Taiwan's.


I would generally agree with this (that a conservative outlook is merited) relative to the stock market and to specifically the top end of the real estate market in both Taipei City and greater Taipei.

There are still some very good values to be found in the lower price ranges in the real estate market for those willing to do some research and legwork (especially for those who aren't averse to living in gongyu!).
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Re: What to look for when buying a house in Taiwan?

Postby viba » 19 Jan 2011, 08:55

thx again for your thoughts
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Re: What to look for when buying a house in Taiwan?

Postby *monkey* » 19 Jan 2011, 09:29

headhonchoII wrote:Realistically speaking both the Taiwan stock market and the property market in general don't have much more 'upside'. If you have the cash then investment wise Wanhua, Dihua area would be a good bet, gongyu the best bet because of the land. A place for living might be a different proposition...I'm done living in gongyu myself.
Taiwan did have a major property crash in the 1990s and there was a smaller crash during SARS in 2003. Just like property booms the world over this one is fuelled by historically cheap credit along with a real improvement in economic conditions,in Taipei at least. When China's boom comes to an end so will Taiwan's.


Huh? What improving economic conditions? Salaries have remained remained stagnant for a decade and the cost of living has steadily increased. Taipei's property bubble has been driven by the lack of land available for development and an endless supply of money from property speculators. (though cheap and easy credit has certainly helped).
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Re: What to look for when buying a house in Taiwan?

Postby Icon » 19 Jan 2011, 09:55

I agree that credit conditions are better now. A Taiwanese couple who are friends of mine bought a house in the neighhborhood when credit loan rates were 8%. :eek: Now it's as cheap as 1.68%.

Nevertheless, the big bulk of money comes from the whales: insurance and financial companies that have tons of money to invest -moved from the West and elsewhere it was risky- which are the main investors behind the building companies, their bloodline so to speak.

Then there is the old money, the same ones who sold their factories, cashed on Mainland investments, have good guanxi: those are the one sbuying 30, 40, 70 million nts apartments "for investment", creating all these empty "mosquito halls".

Another tier are the speculators: people who pool resources and buy blocks also in the "mosquito halls".

In summary: lots of money, all accumulated in real estate, as other businesses cannot compete with China, so why even try?

Out of sheer curiosity, I went to see the famous luxury apartments down the block. The first floor has a tiny reception area, then an exercise room and a meeting room. ??!! The aprtment they showed me they claimed was 30 something ping, but I think it was smaller than my current one. Aside from the feng shuei faux pas of setting the toilet facing the kitchen, the living room was one of teh smallest and worst designed squares I've seen so far. I mean, I ask the real estate guy what is this nook on the wall and he says some people like to put a bar there.. in less than a meter wide space. I can't believe a new building could have so badly designed rooms, and the walls were paper thin... You may accuse me of sour grapes but I tell you I was very dissapointed. Saw a lot better in Danshui for only 4 million. Seen much better old gongwu. Mindboggling they want 30 million for this place. Even more mindboggling is that this is resale price, as originally from the company they were 18 million...
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Re: What to look for when buying a house in Taiwan?

Postby headhonchoII » 19 Jan 2011, 10:23

Actually I agree with the comments regarding poor quality new apartments. The layouts and lobbies can be terrible and the thickness of the walls/ceilings leaves a lot to be desired. However many gongyu have their own problems with the way you can hear all your neighbours conversations, no security and buildings that are basically rotting away. Got to look around and choose carefully. The best places might be those 7-8 story independent standing apartment blocks...lots of cash in Taipei though!

Also when I commented about economy improving I didn't mean that it shared equally, far from it I know, but there certainly is more money in the economy recently due to investment coming in from outside into real estate and the stock market and many electronics companies have invested in new facilities this year..hiring is stronger than it has been in years.
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Re: What to look for when buying a house in Taiwan?

Postby ironfist » 06 Jan 2012, 14:06

got a question...I am selling a house and I am thinking about using 履約保證, now can 代書 still team up with bank somehow and scam your money? I am going to use my own 代書 and also 履約保證, but you never know about them 100%.
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Re: What to look for when buying a house in Taiwan?

Postby ādikarmika » 28 Jun 2012, 15:45

Mick wrote: It can be considered a wise investment to use a company like SGS , they will look over the entire property, electrical, plumbing and what is a point of particular concern to you waterproofing...

I contacted these people about doing an inspection of a property that I'm considering buying, but they said they didn't do that sort of thing. Instead, they directed me to the Kaohsiung Civil Engineers Association (高雄市土木技師公會), who told me:

(1) Since I don't own the property, I have to get permission from the current owner.

(2) OK, assuming I get it, then they come along and just have a look at the place. That costs 5k. I believe there's some kind of form to fill out in which I check a few boxes related to the things I specifically want them to have a look at.

(3) The next step, assuming I want to go further is for them to come along and actually do some tests. The woman at the association said that would cost a minimum of 30~40k.



So, what I'm thinking of doing is:

Getting a local renovator that I know and trust to come and have a look with me. See what he says. If he says the place is beyond redemption (which I doubt is the case), end of story.

If he thinks the place can be fixed up, see what he thinks has to be done. I'll also tell him that I'm going to get an inspection done by a civil engineer and get him to tell me exactly what he thinks are the major problem areas that an engineer should look at.



It's the top floor of a 公寓 and hasn't been lived in for 10 years, during which time it appears that water has been seeping through the roof, so I'm concerned about deterioration of the concrete. Water may have also seeped into one of the beams (it appears discolored). On the other hand, the water damage may not be structural, in which case I may be interested in buying.


I guess I'm reluctant to spend 50k or more on getting a professional inspection of a cheap property that I'm only considering buying.
Is it worth it? What are the alternatives?

I wonder whether I can negotiate a price which would make me much more interested in the place, then get the inspection done, and then pull out if it's going to cost too much to fix up. To what extent am I committed once a price has been negotiated?
As I said, I don't think the place is in such bad condition that it can't be saved (then again, I'm not an engineer). I think it's just a matter of cost. I'm hoping that the water damage is mostly cosmetic. But if the whole building was built with sub-standard materials, then the damage could be more serious, in which case I wouldn't buy, no matter how low the price.
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Re: What to look for when buying a house in Taiwan?

Postby *monkey* » 28 Jun 2012, 16:57

Some advice from someone who has spent a couple of years on the top floor of a high rise. It gets extremely hot in summer. You will need false ceilings and to run your airconditioning 24/7 just to keep it at a bearable temperature. The concrete slab that is the roof will heat up to 50+ Celsius on sunny days and because of its immense mass it will hold that heat and continue to radiate it back into your apartment all through the night. The ceiling slab is connected to the wall slabs and they will stay hot, too.

Then there's the water. The roof should be sealed with a UV-resistant, waterproof membrane. Paint-on sealers are crap and will will crack as the concrete cracks. Cracks can form at any time and rainwater will leak in. As soon as you have sealed one crack, another will pop up, and another. It will be a miserable and costly game of whack-a-mole.
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Re: What to look for when buying a house in Taiwan?

Postby Incubus » 29 Jun 2012, 11:27

It's interesting that on the first page of this thread (April 2009), posters were wondering if prices would bottom out later that year, and look at the market now; prices have gone nowhere but up. All those who were in the market but didn't buy three years ago are probably kicking themselves.
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Re: What to look for when buying a house in Taiwan?

Postby ceevee369 » 29 Jun 2012, 13:16

Incubus wrote: All those who were in the market but didn't buy three years ago are probably kicking themselves.


True. If I would have listened to the wife , buying a small 15- 20 Ping spot before leaving TW in 2010 we could have saved some bucks. Like 500 -750 K over 24 months.

When we came back from Luzon in Nov.2011, there was no way we could even think of living in Taipei anymore if pursuing to purchase instead of rent.
We needed at least 35 ping NET (without public space) and prices at 350 -500 K per ping were out of the question. Our aimed total purchase price was 6 to 7.5 MM which we found in ... Linkou of all places. The place is facing Guanling Mountain, has only 7 floors, no guards nor costs and the neighbors are mostly OK - minding their own business.
While Linkou has currently more down than upsides - it was still worth purchasing as we are only 2 and enjoy silence and tranquility after a whole day in the City.

In a vast majority of countries which are "aging" , older populations tend to get out of the busy city centers (providing shelter for the kids) and go County side. This, aside some future planned developments here (thanks to Omni's input an the City Council Project plans) we should keep the same re-sell pricing in case the bubble bursts.
We found out that when the condo was build 6 years ago, it only went 80K per ping.

Construction has been quiet for the last 3-4 months but in a span of 3 weeks, 7 new lots around us have been prepped for foundations digging while the current occupancy in our Area is merely 25-35 % :ponder:
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