Soaring prices of properties such as The Palace Mansion in downtown Taipei City are one of the main reasons for Taiwan’s rising national wealth in 2012. (Photo: Huang Chung-hsin)

The gross national wealth of Taiwan increased 5.6% to NT$197.53 trillion (US$6.58 trillion) in 2012 on the strength of the local real estate market, according to the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics on 28 August 2014.

GNW per household and capita stands at NT$24.13 million and NT$8.47 million, respectively, up NT$3.03 million and NT$1.46 million since the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008.

According to the data, over half the gains came from a 7.9% appreciation in land value, or NT$6.1 trillion in dollar terms. The 6.9% increase in net foreign assets, boosted mostly by the improving global securities markets, also contributed to the rising wealth.

Analysis shows land ownership as the major component of GNW, accounting for 42.2%. This is followed by buildings and construction work at 22.3%, equipment and machinery at 12.3% and net foreign assets at 12.1%.

The corporate sector is the leading wealth owner at 34.7%, followed by households at 27.6%, government at 24.2%, financial institutions at 11.2% and nonprofit organizations at 2.3%.

But households are the leading owner of net assets at NT$87.6 trillion, or 56.5% of the total. This is trailed by government at 25.5% and the corporate sector at 12.6%.

Average household net assets increased 6.03% from the previous year to NT$10.9 million, with real estate properties accounting for 38.5%. Life insurance and retirement plans came in second at 16.7% and marketable securities third at 16.6%.