The lack of apartments and houses in Sweden’s capital has become a threat to the growth of its startup community, according to New York Times’ report Stockholm’s Housing Shortage Threatens to Stifle Fast-Growing Start-Ups.
However, Stockholm is not the only sufferer from its housing shortage. Tension between local residents and tech workers in startups has also risen in big cities such as San Francisco, London and Berlin, all fighting for the limited living space.
So how about Taiwan?
According to the Department of Census, the national home vacancy rate in 2010 was 19.7%, with Taipei at 13.4% and New Taipei City 22%.
A comparison by soufun.com on Taiwan and other countries shows that Taiwan’s home vacancy rate is 6 times higher than the United Kingdom, also the highest among the 7 countries.
Taiwan’s home vacancy rate compared to other developed countries:
Country Home vacancy rate (%)
Taiwan 19.3 (2010)
Japan 13.1 (2008)
Hong Knog 4.3 (2013)
U.S.A 13.6 (2013)
U.K. 3.3 (2011)
The Netherlands 4.2 (2012)
Australia 10.2 (2011)
Regarding the rent, statistics made by several house renting websites in Taiwan (Housefun, TSUEI MA MA Foundationand 591) also show that monthly rent in the Taipei ranges from NT $350-480 per square meter.
According to the Global Property Guide, Taipei ranks 18 worldwide in houses’ buying price, but tops the price/rent ratio with 64x. This indicates a relatively low renting price than the cities mentioned above.
With around one fifth of the houses empty and relatively cheap rent, workers can find accommodation and get started quite easily in Taiwan. Taiwan should take it’s housing situation as an advantage to attract more entrepreneurs and become the next technology hub.