MRT joint development projects in northern Taiwan could reach NT$15.5 billion (US$493.6 million) this year, the first time since 2009 that the number could surpass the NT$10 billion mark, on the back of a gradual, but steady recovery in the market, the Chinese-language Housing Monthly reported yesterday.

This is particularly true for development projects integrated with MRT systems in Taipei and Taoyuan, as the two municipal governments seek to capitalize on public infrastructure facilities with help from major developers, the publication said.

Radium Life Tech Co (日勝生活科技), known for its MRT joint development ventures despite some legal disputes, is preparing to launch a presale residential project above MRT Daqiaotou Station in Taipei’s Datong District (大同).

The project will feature apartments of 27 ping to 62 ping (89m2 to 205m2) and could generate NT$3 billion in sales, it said.

Sotai Construction Co (首泰建設) plans to roll out a mixed-use building on top of MRT Xinyi-Anhe Station that could cost NT$2 million per ping for units for the upper floors, the most expensive price per ping for an MRT joint development project, the publication said.

The project will have 34 floors above ground, with the 3rd to 18th floors set aside as office space and the upper floors as luxury homes of 88 ping, 120 ping and 180 ping, it said.

The Neihu-based developer could keep 24 units upon completing the Xinyi Anhe project that could bring in NT$4 billion in revenue, it said.

“It will be the first MRT joint development building that carries a price tag of more than NT$2 million per ping,” Housing Monthly research manager Ho Shih-chang (何世昌) said.

Kindom Construction Corp (冠德建設) has introduced a mixed-use presale project at the Taoyuan Sports Park station (桃園體育園區) on the Taoyuan Airport MRT that is expected to generate NT$8.5 billion in sales.

The project will feature shopping space on the lower floors and apartment units with one to three bedrooms on the middle and upper floors, Ho said.

A separate report by Sinyi Realty Inc (信義房屋) confirmed the market’s upswing, stating that the number of mortgages had increased by 78,000 in the first four months of this year, a five-year high.

That suggested an addition of 19,000 new home buyers per month, with mortgage burdens averaging NT$6.64 million, Sinyi researcher Tseng Ching-der (曾敬德) said, citing the latest government data.

With loan-to-value ratios mostly standing at 70 percent, newly purchased homes cost an average of NT$950,000 per unit, Tseng said.