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Scholar threatened for warning of housing bubble in Taipei

Scholar threatened for warning of housing bubble in Taipei

An academic who warned of a property bubble in Taipei in a letter to a newspaper editor April 12 has received a threatening letter telling him to "shut up" or a contract killer will be sent to murder him.
The Wenshan police station in Taipei confirmed Thursday that its officers were investigating the intimidation case.
Chang Chin-oh, a professor of land economics at National Chengchi University, warned property hunters in his letter to the editor that the property market in Taipei is showing signs of a bubble and that although the market is no longer flourishing, housing prices are still being maintained at abnormally high levels.
After the letter was published, Chang received a computer-printed letter from the "Greater China Real Estate Alliance," warning him to keep his mouth shut or his life will be in danger.
Chang told reporters that the caution he set forth in his letter to the editor was well-intentioned, as he felt he has a duty to share the findings of his research with the public.
He added that 38 percent of the property prices offered on the Taipei market are bubble prices, although they have not yet reached bursting point.
"People should be careful when trying to buy property and the banks should avoid over-extending credit when granting mortgages," Chang said.
Benson Liao, president of Evertrust Rehouse Co., said that while there is a price bubble problem with presold housing units in Taipei, the property market in Taiwan otherwise appears normal.
Liao agreed that the abnormally high prices of presold housing units will have an impact on the overall property market because they tend to make buyers of second-hand houses believe that the prices they paid were relatively cheap while in actual fact the prices had already been jacked up.


Updated : 2021-09-24 00:05 GMT+08:00