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Land values in Taiwan up sharply in 2013, led by Taipei 101 area

Land values in Taiwan up sharply in 2013, led by Taipei 101 area

Taipei, Dec. 31 (CNA) Land values as assessed by local governments surged in Taiwan in 2013, with the Taipei 101 skyscraper replacing the Shin Kong Life Tower as the site of the country's most valuable land. The average assessed value of land around Taiwan rose an average of 14.19 percent from the end of 2012, nearly double the 7.95 percent growth in value seen the previous year, according to the Ministry of the Interior's report on appraised land values for 2014, released Tuesday. The government-assessed value of Taipei 101's land rose 17 percent from last year to NT$5.02 million (US$168,281) per ping (1 ping equals 3.3 square meters), or NT$1.52 million (US$51,000) per square meter. That surpassed the assessed value of the Shin Kong Life Tower's land, which rose 13.8 percent to NT$4.99 million per ping. The 51-story tower, located across from Taipei Railway Station, was the tallest building in Taiwan until 1997 and had carried the title of Taiwan's "King of Land" for 15 years in a row. The report was a compilation of land value appraisals made by local governments around Taiwan earlier in December. Current assessed land values are important because capital gains taxes on property transactions in Taiwan -- called the land value increment tax -- are based on these appraised values rather than actual buying and selling prices. They have historically been far lower than actual market prices, but local governments have moved aggressively to bring their assessed values closer to the market in recent years to increase tax revenues. Among Taiwan's 22 cities and counties, the three areas with the biggest annual adjustments in current land values were seen in the outlying counties of Kinmen (up 42.99 percent), Lienchiang (up 35.74 percent) and Penghu (up 30.57 percent). Taichung City and Taoyuan County had the fourth and fifth highest growth in assessed land values, at 24.43 percent and 22.5 percent, respectively. Taipei, the country's capital, had an average increase of 13.23 percent, the steepest adjustment in the city in 22 years, according to the report. The MOI attributed the significant growth to a new system implemented in August 2012 that requires actual property transaction prices to be registered in a government database. The system has made market values for property more transparent, allowing government-assessed land values to more closely reflect actual market prices, an MOI official said. (By Justin Su and Elizabeth Hsu)