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S. Korea's home transactions plunge in February

All Headlines 11:00 March 13, 2016

SEJONG, March 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's home sales plunged 24.9 percent last month from a year earlier as the local property market has shown some signs of a slowdown, government data showed Sunday.

The number of home transactions reached 59,265 in February compared with a record 78,864 tallied a year ago, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

It also marked a 5 percent drop from the previous month's 62,365 and a 12.2 percent fall from a five-year average of 68,000.

February's sharp decline came after a 21.4 percent on-year drop in January, signaling that the local real estate market is rapidly cooling down from a market boom last year.

The country's property market was on a roll throughout last year on the back of a series of government measures to revitalize the housing market and the entire economy.

It has lifted reconstruction regulations and eased other financial hurdles to let people easily borrow money and buy or rent houses, while the central bank cut the base rate to a record low of 1.5 percent.

As a result, home transactions hit an all-time high in 2015, surging 18.8 percent on-year to 1,193,691 last year.

In February, home transactions in Seoul and its surrounding areas posted negative figures, dropping 25.1 percent on-year to 28,084.

In rural areas, the figure stood at 31,181 last month, down 24.6 percent from a year earlier.

brk@yna.co.kr
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