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S. Korea's land prices rise 2.4 pct in 2015

All News 11:00 January 27, 2016

SEJONG, Jan. 27 (Yonhap) -- The average price of land in South Korea rose 2.4 percent on-year in 2015, fueled by low interest rates and easing regulations on property development, the government said Wednesday.

The increase is the highest since 2008, when land prices dipped 0.32 percent compared to the year before as Asia's fourth-largest economy struggled with the fallouts of the global financial crisis, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said.

The country's land prices have been rising on a monthly basis since November 2010.

The ministry said prices rose across the board last year, with numbers moving up the most on Jeju Island off the country's southern coast, which surged 7.57 percent on-year. Gains for Sejong, home to many government ministries and state-run think tanks, rose 4.57 percent, followed by 4.06 percent for Daegu.

"Low interest is causing funds to be diverted to the property market, while the gradual easing of land development restrictions are contributing to demand," a ministry source said.

Lower borrowing costs can also make it easier for developers to buy land.

In addition to price gains, total land that traded hands last year reached over 3.08 million plots of land, or 2,181 square kilometers, up 16.8 percent via-a-vis the year before.

This is the highest gain since 2.64 million plots of land were traded in 2006.

Of the total, trading in land without buildings shot up 12.3 percent on-year to 1.12 million plots, the data showed.

yonngong@yna.co.kr
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