Finding a place to live during the pandemic

Is it me or is it harder to find a semi decent place to live during the pandemic?

Got a friend that has been looking so hard. He’s got pets so that makes it harder. Yet he’s tried everything: 591, real estate agents, word of mouth… To no avail.

Pickings are really slim. The stuff you see on 591… several places have stuff growing off the walls I can smell them. I saved some of the best pics like a bathroom in a balcony…the kitchen in a balcony… someone who uses the bathroom as storage -will only occasionally come in to put more stuff- and other beauties.

There are practically no apartments for rent. Only taofang or yafang. Landlords splitting up a normal place, putting up plastic and stereo foam divisions and asking 15k or more a piece.

We’ve looked all over Taipei, New Taipei and beyond. Seems like if you want a full apartment with something that resembles a kitchen then it is Sanxia, Tucheng or Shulin. About a 1000 meters from the nearest bus/train stop. Forget about MRT. Unless you mean the light rail in Tamsui. Then we start getting claustrophobic without windows. Or weird as in a jacuzzi in the living room.

If my friend was younger the walk-ups would count. But a 5th or 6th floor without elevator is not realistic after 50.

He’s heard it all. No to male. No to foreigner - and this was to a house in the middle of nowhere, not a fancy Xinyi dig. No to pets is actually the less heard as he is picking pet friendly places to call, and we are talking about cats, not a Great Dane.

In summary, I feel as if the market out there has changed for the worst. If anyone has any ideas, please pitch them in, we are at the end of our sanity.

And yes, he is fluent in speaking and reading and has permanent residence.


What about buying?

Not that rich.

Which reminds me of how scary is this landlords’ hoarding. When another friend was looking for a place to buy, there was this cute, reasonably priced place in Xindian.

Lo and behold, the same place showed up now as a rental. They are asking a ridiculous amount of rent. Seems to me the owner is building a nice pyramid scheme, paying the loan through rental, buying one place after another, so first time buyers cannot afford reasonable places.


I know I have suggested it before. But…Danshui? They have good pickings. I can look when I get home.

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You’ll be amazed once you start looking. Windows? What for? The sun is bad!


You can get tanned!

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I did take a look around Taipei since my lease is up this month on my 頂樓加蓋. I gave up quickly and ran to the property manager to sign another year. I think it’s a reflection of the even higher “value” of the properties here — property owners have seen their values go up how much this year? Yet they can only get 20k on a property that would be at least 80k/mo as a mortgage payment, so they’re happy to let it rot, since “it’s worth so much”.

I’m very worried about the future of Taiwan from a buildings standpoint. When will the bubble burst?!


You poor soul! My friend had one of those and i hated visiting it.

There are loads of places outside of Taipei.
Xindian has gotten more and more popular and yes I know the pain there…

But it’s true people haven’t been moving as much the last few months in Taiwan…

There aren’t so many places in Yilan as before as some Taipei folks moved out there. You can rent out awesome ex minshu for about 35-40k a month .
But there are still quite a few regular places too. Taoyuan, Linkou etc… lots of choices.

If you want to stick to Taipei and cheaper and newer place…Yeah Tamshui is a good option for sure…Or maybe the only option !

The pandemic was our last hope for bubble bursting, like during SARS 1. Alas, it made the bubble worse.

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What does your friend do? Does he need to be close to Taipei?

A bit of info about him helps.

Mines actually not that bad. It’s connected to the other 頂樓s on either side, so it’s not drafty or too hot, yet plenty of sunshine!! And there’s an effing kitchen, which I am increasingly pissed about the lack of in other properties, considering lockdown and what else am I going to do all day but cook in order to avoid being around other people?


In telling ya man, there are not. Nothing within 500 to 1000 meters from MRT that is not a 5th floor rooftop. The mountains are out of the question since they are the main COVID19 cluster source in Xindian. Up Beiyi road…you need a car…


I go to the park or riverside.

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Ankeng is reasonable enough…But need a car yes. I knew the area well.
Looked at renting a house up on the hill there in Xindian where the hostel is…Mould problems were bad and no community facilities.

Currently he’s working from “home”, freelance, like a lot of people. He’s got financial resources from investments in his country so money is not tight but neither enough to pay 35k for a 10 ping luxurious place in Tamsui with swimming pool, gym and 24 hour guard.

All we need is reasonably close to MRT for socialization. A balcony for the cats. A kitchen to cook Western fare.

Oh and a landlord not living in the premises.


You know Ankeng was the cluster source? Prices have gone through the roof there with the light rail anyways.

Up IH is pretty…far away from civilization.

Our landlord told us two years ago that he was upping the rent if we were signing again. Then this week he asked if we wanted to sign two more years at the same rent. Yes please. I think the reason was the pandemic.

Meanwhile I’ve heard that some commercial rents have halved.

How much is he looking to pay?




Honestly, 20k to 25k, 30k if the place can be shared.

That sounds pretty average…not. I recall not long ago -2019?, last year- you could easily find whole apartments under 20. Now, that is not realistic.