Taipei, Dec. 28 (CNA) The Ministry of the Interior revealed on Friday that land values in Taiwan as assessed by the government, called the "current land value," have risen by an average of 7.97 percent on an annual basis.
The current value of land in Penghu County rose the most of anywhere in the country at 42.84 percent, followed by Kinmen County at 24.41 percent and Hsinchu County at 12.97 percent. The significant increases were mainly due to the fact that current land values in these areas were underestimated for a long time, officials said. Among the five special municipalities, current land values went up 11.24 percent in New Taipei, 9.31 percent in Taipei, 6 percent in Kaohsiung, 4.79 percent in Taichung, and 4.71 percent in Tainan. The land parcel where the Shin Kong Life Tower in Taipei is located remains the most expensive nationwide, with a value of NT$1.33 million per square meter. According to Wang Ching-hsiu, deputy chief of the ministry's Department of Land Administration, land values in the cities have been given a boost by local development projects, such as the launch of the Xinzhuang and Luzhou MRT lines in New Taipei. The current land value is estimated by local governments once a year and is used as the basis on which land value increment taxes -- Taiwan's version of the capital gains tax on real estate transactions -- are calculated. The values announced Friday will apply to transactions in 2013. Also Friday, data from Sinyi Realty, one of Taiwan's largest real estate brokers, showed that housing transactions around Taiwan in December increased by 15 percent from November. Residential unit sales in Taipei and New Taipei were up nearly 20 percent due to a low comparison base, the real estate broker said. The average selling price of homes in Taipei was NT$20.29 million, down 11 percent from November, while that in New Taipei decreased slightly by 1.3 percent to NT$10.41 million. (By Angela Tsai, Shu Wei and Y.F. Low)