Xinyi, considered one of the top luxury residential areas in Taipei, is where you’ll find the most sophisticated and high-end dining, shopping, and entertainment options Taiwan has to offer.
The modern, skyscraper-studded district is the country’s financial and commercial hub, boasting Taipei 101, the world’s fifth-tallest building (at 1,671 feet), and within it, the world’s second-fastest elevator (37.7 mph). Formerly farmland, the Xinyi district was officially developed in the 1990s, and in short order, transformed into the seat of the Taipei City government, with some of the highest property values in the country.
“The trees are big, the land is green…and it’s transitioned into a popular place for the younger generation to have fun,” said Pin Chiu, general manager of Savills Residential Services in Taiwan, who also lives in the neighborhood.
Located centrally within Taipei, Xinyi is the newest of the city’s 13 planned districts, each spanning approximately 150 acres. It is bounded by Section 5 Zhongxiao East Road to the north; Section 5, Xinyi Road to the south; Songde Road to the east; and Keelung Road to the west.
Xinyi’s newest and most expensive units are estimated to be priced around NT$1 billion (US$32.9 million), while existing inventory can go as high as NT$800 million (US$26.35 million).
Andy Huang, associate director of research at REPro Knight Frank, noted the average price for luxury housing completed in the last few years is approximately NT$2 million per ping (US$1,864 per square foot). [Note: A ping is equivalent to 35.58 square feet, and is a traditional measure of area in Taiwan.] Unit sizes vary in buildings, but at the lower end of the price spectrum are listings for smaller-sized condos priced around NT$109 million (US$3.6 million).
According to Mr. Chiu, the most expensive (and highly anticipated) project is still under construction: the 21-floor, 40-unit Tao Zhu Yin Yuan condominium tower, reminiscent of the Bosco Verticale in Milan, commanding record-breaking prices.
Mr. Chiu noted asking prices have reached NT$5 million per ping (US$4,628 per square foot), but are now down to a more reasonable NT$3.5 million per ping (US$3,238 per square foot). [Note: A ping is equivalent to 35.58 square feet, and is a traditional measure of area in Taiwan.]
Each unit in the building is a spacious 12,000 square feet, with a balcony featuring tall trees and other greenery selected by the developer—with a recycled water system to support it all. “Only the top 20 or 30 wealthy people in the country can afford this,” Mr. Chiu said.
Andy Huang, associate director of research at REPro Knight Frank, noted that a building developer’s brand also has an impact on price; those with better reputations can command higher prices and sign deals for better land plots, including noteworthy projects like Xinyi Fubon Mansion, with units costing up to NT$550 million (US$18.1 million); and The Royal Castle, a short walk to Taipei 101, with units costing up to NT$868 million (US$28.6 million).
The majority of luxury housing in Xinyi (and Taipei overall) is composed of condominium units featuring three to five bedrooms or more. Two-bedrooms are available as well, but are expansive in size—up to 200 pings (7,115 square feet), Mr. Chiu said.
Mr. Huang added that common amenities at luxury properties include gardens and basketball courts. The Royal Castle features fully furnished guest units, a ballroom, an indoor swimming pool and spa, and an exercise center.Xinyi Fubon Mansion has a castle-style stony exterior, with a private club, and rooftop swimming pool.
What makes it unique
From a resident’s perspective, Xinyi is central and accessible and boasts nice green spaces as well as the lowest residential density in the city. Owners are drawn to the atmosphere and the building’s surroundings, as well as mountain views. In addition, it’s a bustling, high-energy area with prime offices offered at the highest office rental prices in the country. Mr. Huang highlighted the neighborhood’s impressive retail footprint, noting a plethora of malls anchored by more than a dozen department stores—making it the world’s highest density of department stores within half a kilometer.
Xinyi is also the country’s financial and commercial nexus. In addition to Taipei 101 and the Taipei City Government, it is home to Taipei City Hall, Taipei World Trade Center, and the Taipei International Convention Center.
Jon Hicks / Getty Images
Xinyi is accessible via two major public transit lines in Taipei, and eminently walkable in between. There’s even a 10-minute long pedestrian path designed for shoppers, connecting the Taipei 101 building to Taipei City station.
Celebrities like to shop in the area because of an abundance of international designer brands like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Dolce & Gabbana, Mr. Chiu said. The flagship of Eslite, Taiwan’s high-end bookstore chain, is also located in the vicinity.
Fine-dining options abound, including a branch of Michelin-star celebrity chef Joel Robuchon’s L’Atelier restaurants. Also notable is the original location of the world-renowned soup dumpling house Din Tai Fung.
Just minutes away are the Si Si Nan Village, a restored military housing complex that’s been turned into a cultural attraction; the Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, a creative arts and retail space; plus eye-catching buildings and art on Yong Kang Street. Outdoor stages and squares dot the neighborhood, making it a hub for weekend concerts and events marked by celebrity appearances and parties. And come New Year’s Eve, Taipei 101 is the place to be for the count-down light show and fireworks.
While there are no international schools in the district, one of the world’s top medical schools, Taipei Medical University, is there.
Joyoyo Chen / Getty Images
Who lives there
Residents tend to be executives and entrepreneurs at technology companies and multinationals. “During the past 20 years, Taiwan’s most profitable business is technology, and many CEOs and presidents live there. Many expatriate families also live in the area,” Mr. Chiu said.
Xinyi is particularly popular with families because the area’s luxury condos are very spacious.
Residents include billionaire Terry Gou, the founder and chairman of Foxconn, the world’s largest contract manufacturer of electronics, with 1.2 million employees and factories that produce Apple iPhones. “He has four units in one building [Xinyi FuBang], each around 150 pings,” Mr. Chiu said.
Mr. Huang noted that superstar idol A-Mei; C.C. Leung, vice chairman and president of Quanta Computer; and Pao Yung Lin, president of Senao International, also live in Xinyi.
“Generally speaking, Taiwan’s real estate market has been dropping… prices are still dropping,” Mr. Chiu said. “There are good deals to find because luxury projects are under construction and developers are waiting to promote projects.”
There are plenty of commercial projects in the pipeline as well, including prime office space and hotels like the Hyatt-branded Hotel Andaz and the six-star Park Hyatt in the forthcoming Taipei Sky Tower, slated for completion in 2020.
“Xinyi continues to be the best district in Taiwan, and residential demand should continue,” Mr. Huang said.
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