For various reasons I won't go into here, we wanted something near ZhiShan MRT stop. And we looked at both rental and buying, though mostly in the bottom half of the market. Rules of thumb the agents offered. 1. Remodel might run 30- 60K per ping depending on desired fit and finish. 2. 3% of price = annual rent (this pretty much agrees with the ballparks in my earlier posts) 3. Agent charges 4% (I am guessing they split it with the listing broker) 4. Process takes at least 45 days. 5. They said they could try to bargain the seller down 5 or 10%, but 15% was ambitious. But I read 15% in that Amcham power point in my above post.
26+ ping for 1370 won (won = 10,000's) The first place we saw: was about 30 years old, 26 ping, plus more ping on the roof. Roof accessed via public stairs. Roof had 3 tiny single rooms, each with separate entrance rentable for maybe 6000NT, these folks get no kitchen just a shared bathroom, probably ideal for students or prostitutes. They said the city took satellite photos, so if we want to remodel we'd have to keep the same roof. What wasn't clear from the floor plan was half the upstairs space was outdoors. Anyway I'm looking for a family home, and it just seemed impossible that this place would ever feel that way. They say they can factor in rooftop space into the price per ping but give it only 1/3 credit.
33+ ping for 1460. Next we saw another rooftop, this one with internal stairs, also top floor(s) of a 4 story walk up. The owner had been living there for 30 years and it looked like it would take several months for them to move out. Very few windows, even though they had a view of CCU at least from the top floor. Would require extensive total remodeling.
35 ping for 1765. Next we saw a place that looked like a train wreck. I learned that real estate photos can lie even more than online personals photos. I realize the buyer will remodel but really its just an insult to even list this place. They can't even be arsed to put a coat of paint on it or clear out their filthy kitchen.
25 ping for 1350. Next we saw a place that felt like a submarine. I was surprised to find that there are a handful of locals who start to have a clue about interior decor. But this place was in a commercial building, and only had 2 windows, one in each bedroom.
In retrospect, we should have been able to each unit's glaring flaws without making a visit. And if we did that, then really there is nothing in our target area for less than 20 million, even in the old neighborhood on the wrong side of the tracks in 30 year old 4-story buildings.
I would also say that even the capital city of this country is almost entirely devoid of a sense of architecture and of interior design. Maybe less of an issue if we remodel, but if you give them 30 years that gives them time to commit more permanent and lasting aesthetic crimes. I mean, would a window or two hurt? These places are like rabbit warrens. We did see one place that was decorated pretty nice, but it was a bit small and cost 2 million.
The morning after, I feel like, this is what a bubble looks like. Only in a bubble would people try to unload this junk at these prices with a straight face. I don't think I'm just sour grapes as often happens when you're priced out of a housing market. The Amcham presentation above says as much. I also feel a bit uneasy about comparables and pricing, compared to the USA, where databases have almost complete histories of every house and every time it sold. And we do have some meltdown scenarios... if interest rates go up, e.g. forced up in response to inflation, the housing market here is in for some pain.
OK, here is the website about violent house (30- 40% discount I guess) http://www.unluckyhouse.com/
Anyway we went to an agency that only does rentals. The agents who do full sale also do rental, but I'm guessing their heart is not in it, by my calculations they profit about 8x as much on a sale as on charging a month's rent for arranging a rental.