This paper discusses the contradicting phenomenon of housing demand in Taiwan. First, an introduction is given on the three primary characteristics of the housing market in Taiwan, which are a high housing vacancy rate, high housing prices and high home ownership. Secondly, we explore the motivation and preferences behind housing purchase. Since the housing price-income ratio continues to increase, unaffordable housing prices cause households to suffer from poor quality of life. The issues of housing justice are highlighted. Recently, the demographics and social values have rapidly changed. Therefore, even if homebuyers face unaffordable housing prices, they still prefer to buy housing instead of renting due to the traditional cultural belief that “to have land is to have wealth”. This has resulted in the phenomenon with high home ownership rate yet high housing prices. On the other hand, the low holding cost of housing and imbalance in urban and rural development perpetuate the high housing vacancy rate in the housing market. This results in an unhealthy housing market and misallocation of resources. Finally, recommendations for related government policy making are made based on the findings.
International Real Estate Review, Vol. 21 No. 3, pp. 397-418