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Premier reveals idea of building affordable houses in Linkou

Premier reveals idea of building affordable houses in Linkou

Taipei, Dec. 29 (CNA) The central government is considering building "fairly priced" houses in a zone near Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in an effort to provide houses at affordable prices, Premier Wu Den-yih said Tuesday.
Speaking to local electronic press reporters, Wu said the central government has had the idea of constructing the houses in the A7-A9 zone along the metro line that will link Taipei with Taiwan International Taoyuan Airport in neighboring Taoyuan County upon its completion in 2014.
Wu admitted that housing prices in Taiwan's major urban areas, especially Taipei City, have surged to levels that are far beyond the reach of the vast majority of salaried young people.
"Through administrative measures, the government can provide more inexpensive houses on suitable land for the general public, " the premier said. He expressed hope that construction of the houses and the metro line to the airport will both be completed in 2014 as scheduled.
According to Wu, the land in the A7 zone is close to Linkou's Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and is close to "all prime facilities." "As the cost of land in Linkou is much lower than in Taipei, the new houses should be much cheaper," he contended.
Real-estate brokers, however, voiced skepticism about the idea, pointing out that relatively cheap housing in the Linkou and Tamsui areas already far exceeds demand. They called on the government to carefully weigh the possible impact of even greater supply in such areas.
Liu Pen-sheng, an executive at Evertrust Rehouse -- one of Taiwan's leading real-estate brokers -- said houses built by the government, except for those constructed in Taipei City, are unpopular and difficult to sell. The same is very likely to occur in Linkuo and the government should be cautious about going ahead with the plan, he said.
Another expert said the government's intention to build more cheap houses in Linkou is pointless, as there is already superfluous inexpensive housing in the area and the opening of a new metro line will not necessarily help matters, with the low house prices in Tamsui a clear example.
(By M.C. Lee and Flor Wang)