13 November 2018
Tamsui is a popular destination among Hongkongers moving to Taiwan. Photo: Internet
Tamsui is a popular destination among Hongkongers moving to Taiwan. Photo: Internet

Hongkongers moving to Taiwan in droves, buying up homes

In the wake of the Umbrella movement, more Hongkongers are relocating to Taiwan, attracted by relatively loose immigration rules.

A manager surnamed Tang at JSL Group, one of the island’s biggest property agencies, said the number of buyers from Hong Kong has clearly increased, especially since the start of the 79-day Occupy protests at the end of September, Sky Post reported Friday.

The firm has closed 20 sales to Hongkongers since September, 54 percent more than the number from January to August, he said.

Tang said the Hong Kong clients bought their properties in Taiwan either to live in themselves or to immigrate under an investor visa.

Most of them are between 30 and 40 years old and prefer one- or two-bedroom flats that cost no more than NT$8 million (US$254,000), he said.

Tang said 70 percent of them bought homes in Tamsui, about 40 minutes by mass transit from Taipei.

One Hong Kong woman who is engaged in international trade recently bought two units in a residential project in Tamsui before construction began.

One flat cost NT$4 million, and the other, NT$8 million. Their floor area was between 600 square feet and 900 sq ft, the report said.

The woman said she could not afford the prices in Hong Kong, where the quality of life is worsening. She bought the two flats to let out, which makes her eligible for Taiwan’s investor immigration program.

Master Real Estate, a property agency in Taiwan, said Hong Kong buyers contributed 10 percent of its annual sales last year, and the volume of their transactions rose 20 percent in the last quarter from a year earlier.

The firm plans to hold up to four sales presentations in Hong Kong, starting in March, and will offer apartment-shopping tours for potential Hong Kong buyers.

Taiwan’s National Immigration Agency revised the rules for investment immigration early last year, raising the minimum investment required to NT$6 million from NT$5 million.

Official figures show 6,398 citizens of Hong Kong and Macau moved to Taiwan as residents in the first 10 months of last year, a 96 percent increase from a year earlier.

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