Any caveat for foreigner buying a property?


I’m considering buying an apartment here in Taiwan. Want to get some stability and the rental property here are usually in pretty bad shape.

I plan to rent out the place if I ever leave. Are there any caveat I should be aware of? For example, I know income tax rate is higher for non-resident.

Are there similar issue with property? Will my holding cost increase if I’m no longer living in Taiwan?

Aside from the difficulty in foreigners getting a mortgage (you will have to shop around and fight for it), here is the thing:

Mortgage payment will be at least 3x rental price for similar property. Because the housing market here is bloated beyond hell.

You will be spending a significant amount of your own money to improve it, and if you are buying a new building, there is probably shoddy construction and management issues.

The caveat is don’t.

  1. Massively overpriced for what you get and the build quality sucks
  2. New units are too smol or way too large
  3. Market isn’t exactly liquid
  4. Can you imagine the hellworld that is owner’s association meeting?
  5. One major pyramid scheme. Taiwan’s population is shrinking, no immigration, declining wages. Who’s going to buy it?

As long as you are willing to shell out 30-40k for a place, and don’t mind living in suburbia you should be able to find something decent.

Not really helpful. Everyone has different requirements and conditions and reasons.

@vagabond, I’ll follow up more when I get home.

You mentioned in another post you’re Taiwanese yourself. You’re here right now so you should be able to talk to a government office to get info on how to restore your household registration.

Not that I know of. Since you’re Taiwanese, you should look into getting all that documentation settled first so that you have an easier time attaining a mortgage.

People here are going to tell you the mortgage payments are going to be orders of magnitude more than what it costs to rent.

Oh wait. Somebody already did.

This isn’t true. Taiwan, like all other countries, is made up of different districts and areas. Each of these places have their own housing markets and prices. In Taipei, it is extremely high priced. But the further away you get from it, those prices go down. Some mortgages will match their market rental price in some areas. There are places where rent is higher than the mortgage. They tend to be far away from the city centre and you’ll have to decide what is right for you. You might be perfectly happy living away from the city centre and like the lower prices and that’s OK.

For my own house, I picked something that’s suburban and a good balance between cost and transport. I picked something that’s right for me. I probably would not buy in Taipei unless it was a killer deal. The suburbs that surround Taipei are probably the best for rents covering the mortgage if you find yourself needing to leave the area.

Kaohsiung, Taichung function in similar ways too. Depends what you want to do.

While yes, the population is shrinking, they are shrinking faster in many of the counties because people are moving to big cities. It will probably look more like Japan where rural prefectures are cheap as hell while cities continue to grow. Many cheap places can be found there if you’re into smaller cities inside rural counties. Many cheap places there. Market conditions change town to town, city to city, district to district in Taiwan.

I prefer newer places. Anything 2005 or later is going to be fairly good quality.

I don’t like Gongyus built before 2005. They’re strong, but not well taken care of and you will never convince the neighbours to take care of the outside.

High rises are my preference as they have better maintenance.

I’d love to hear more details about what you want, where you wanna buy, budget, etc…


Thanks for the reply.

I’m mostly thinking of Taipei area since there were my family and friends are. I was thinking Shilin, Dazhi, Beitou and Tianmu area. Xindian, Muzha and Banqiao is a possibility too if I can’t find a place.

Yes, also looking for newer place (<20 years). Don’t feel safe in old apartment in an earthquake. I may also consider a pre-construction place although it feels iffy to but before you look at a place

Everything is really expensive now and inventory seems to be low. Hope more things come on the market.


There should be interesting possibilities in Beitou - especially the further you go out towards Tamshui

I was walking around this morning near YangMing Chiatong University and Tianmu North and I passed a few new building projects I hadn’t noticed. There’s a lot of building going on

those areas are almost 1 million USD for a 3 bedroom apartment…renting is for sure more cost effective in these areas.

I totally agree with @Marco.

1 Like

Any size requirements? Amenities? Kitchen? Balconies etc…?

How’s your Chinese?

I maintain my position. Math doesn’t make sense

Based on what?

You’re math is wrong. My friend bought the place she was renting in Xitun, Taichung. The mortgage is only 500 NTD per month more than the rent she was paying. Makes total sense to me.

1 Like

Yeah. That $500 a month difference put into an alternative investment is not going to be life changing and won’t cover the money down the drain sent to the landlord.

like Marco said, depends on the place and alternative. the mortgage on my place with a 30%down payment will be 90k a month. significantly higher than the rent.

1 Like

In some of those areas, yes, but market conditions even change between village to village.

  1. Housing prices. They are far beyond the ability for the market to sustain it. It’s working for now as the prior generation has immense liquidity thanks to the rise in housing prices of the 90s, but in order for the asset price to climb there needs to be another pool of liquidity available.

  2. Demand for housing only exists because locals view it as a speculative asset. This is subject to change at the whims of the government. As Taiwan is now shrinking, there’s no organic demand like there was in the 90s.

  3. Because of 1 and 2 the rental market is one of the lowest yielding in the world.

Just think about what that $1 million could buy you elsewhere…




1 Like

Urban parts of the country, particularly Taipei, experienced this phenomenon as the country’s economy matured.

It also forecast that the country’s population will shrink to between 14.49 million and 17.16 million by 2070, which it said will put a significant burden on society because the proportion of working-age people to older dependents will fall from 4.5 to 1 in 2020 to 1.2 to 1 in 2070.

Taipei now vies with Monaco for the lowest yields in the world. Taipei is not a happy place to be a landlord. The owner of an apartment in Taipei will be lucky to realize 2% yields, except on the very smallest apartments. Currently, average rental yields in Taiwan hover around 1.5%.

Oh, and then there’s interest rates. They will eventually rise. What will that do to the property market?