Foreigners buying into Taiwan

one of my most lackadaisical and likely misinformed friends said something the other night about foreigners being newly able to buy homes and start businesses and stuff.

i’d always heard stories previously of friends not being able to own anything and starting businesses with Taiwanese partners and such.

so have there really been some significant law(s) passed recently regarding all this or is my friend as spacy as i’d guess him to be?

I know a foreigner who bought his apartment in his own name in the early 80s. Never heard you couldn’t buy property - whether it’s a good idea is another issue.

well, i wouldn’t plan to buy a home or much of anything but i’d like to know what the situation is.

anybody?

quote[quote] I know a foreigner who bought his apartment in his own name in the early 80s. Never heard you couldn't buy property - whether it's a good idea is another issue. [/quote]

Seriously doubt this.
There must be other threads on this if you search. As I know, foreigners can “own” property, but only 49 percent.

As far as I know, Taiwan still follows the amended “Negative List For Investment By Overseas Chinese and Foreign Nationals”. For foreign nationals this includes agriculture, forestry, fishery, broadcast and television, recreational services, retail securities, transportation and military related industries. The only reference to real estate restricts foreign nationals from real estate trading, leasing, and land development. What this means in practise is anyone’s guess! More info is available from the Industrial Development and Investment Center, MOEA, tel (02) 2389-2111.

This thread is putting out the kind of mis-information that unfortunately pervades a lot of Oriented.

For decades already, foreigners could own self-use land, such as homes. So if you meet an old time expatriate that owns their own home, purchased, for example, in the mid-80s, its perfectly legitimate and they would not have needed an R.O.C. national to “front” the transaction for them.

In recent years laws/regulations have been further changed to permit foreigners to own land for business purposes (with some exceptions that apply to agricultural and military land).

Again, for many years, a foreigner could open a business in Taiwan. There were several avenues to do this - a locally incorporated entity (which would have required a minimum of seven shareholders, though such requirement was eliminated the last time the company law was amended), a branch of a foreign company, a subsidiary of a foreign company, etc. Certain types of inbound investment from overseas require what is known as “foreign investment approved” status issued by the Investment Commission of the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Foreign ownership restrictions applied in the past to certain industries, though with some exceptions, such restrictions have been largely eliminated.

In most cases, there is no restriction on a foreigner opening such a business.

According to this article on the taiwan national government web site, foreigners can actually make a tax deduction on loans used to buy a house in Taiwan.

http://www.i-taiwan.nat.gov.tw/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=320:tax-exemption-for-foreigners-applying-for-house-loans-&catid=18:news-a-events&Itemid=69

From that, it’s easy to see that as a foreigner, you can buy a house in Taiwan. The problem is getting the loan. My wife and I recently purchased a house and the bank wouldn’t let me co-sign, because I am a foreigner. Then we asked relatives and they were hesitant. The loan was for 90% of the purchase price.

Later we found out that if we only borrowed 80%, we wouldn’t need a co-signer. So instead we started asking relatives to loan us the other 10%. We already had 10%. One man that we don’t even know, my wife’s brother’s wife’s brother, works at a bank and loaned us the money out of his own pocket, at 5% over 7 years.

Now our house is finished and we will move in any day now. It will be on TV and in pictures in design magazines around Taiwan, because of the mix of western and eastern design ideas. My wife is so excited. She said: I never knew I would 1. marry a foreigner and 2. own a house like this.

So if you were made of cash and could pay for the house out of pocket, I think it’s safe to say you can buy a house in Taiwan.

Made similar experience. House could have been totally on my name, but then no loan.
Now it’s 50% on my name and 50% on wife’s but the loan is 100% on her name, otherwise the bank wouldn’t have agreed.

Well what some banks do is strange. :2cents: