Buying an appartment in Taipei - recent experience

Just wanted to share some recent experience of buying property as this question seems to come up a lot in this forum.
I closed on an appartment just last weekend in Da An area.

I am german citizen and am living (and working) in Hong Kong.
I decided to buy an appartment here in Taiwan as I come here at least one week every month and have fallen in love with the people, the food and the environment overall…

I do not hold an ARC or even Resident Visa. It is not a requirement for foreigners to buy as long as your country is on the list of reciprocal countries allowing Taiwanese to buy.

Currently applicable law can be found here: … sp?elid=66

You do need at a minimum a “Record of ID” which you can get instantly at the immigration department so the government has a record of you and you get assigned a Taiwanese “ID number”.

Bank Loan was not a problem with HSBC, ARC will help though. I have a relationship with them in Hong Kong
so them providing a mortgage in Taiwan was not an issue. Be prepared to have at least 30% in cash though.

About 2 month ago I started talking to Sin Yi Real Estate Brokers. And I can just recommend to go with one of the leading agencies like Sin Yi.
During my search I have come across some pretty shoddy characters from smaller, sometime one man, agencies.
Sin Yi has been super professional, did not bother me with calls at a rate of 5 per hour like some of the other agents and listened to my requirements. i overall saw about 15-20 place before I found the one i finaly bought. Their commision is a very reasonable 1% given the excellent service I received. They also provide the “Daisu” service and contracts were done in only about an hours time. All in chinese of course so better have somebody with you who can read (and understand) all the Terms and Conditions. Again Sin Yi is using standard contracts as you would expect from a large company.

A couple (and definitly not complete ) list of things to consider in terms of the appartment:

  • any illegal additions like the before discussed roof-tops can defintly cause foreigners grief
  • public areas officilay registered to the property
  • does the property have purely residential license or also allows business registrations
  • condition of roof top sealing for top floor appartment
  • management fees
  • GET A MARKET RATE OF PING/WAN from a bigger bank - it will be on the low side, but a good starting point for negotiations
  • don’t let yourself influence by decorations too much - you have no idea of the condition underneath :wink: - look for location and condition of public areas

The information above is of course just my own experience. Hope it’s of interest for some of you.

Guess I will be showing up here in the forums more frequently now :wink:



Congrats on the new place oliver, and thanks for the advice.

Great intro to buying property in Taiwan. Thanks a bunch for the post and link!

Cheers for the info. Very encouraging for those who want to do the same.

Excellent post, lostinspace.

Looking forward to more posts.

Enjoy Taipei!

Hello Oliver,

Thanks for the post. I am also currently looking for something and I was also advised to go with Xin Yi or Yong Qing as they are the biggest and only charge 1% commission whereas the other broker usually charges 2% for less services and guarantees.
Several questions regarding your experience:
1 - Can you also share the interest rate you got and the length of the loan from HSBC?
2 - Are you paying income tax in Taiwan? I know the question sound suspicious but here is the reason for my question: I heard that when you have a loan you can deduct your interest payment from your income tax up to a limit of TWD 300,000 per year (interest alone), but I was wondering whether a non-resident (staying in Taiwan less than 183 days) can also deduct it from his 20% flat income tax or do you have to be resident (and hence pay according to the normal income tax scheme) to be able to have this deduction?