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Report shows growing gap in home ownership in S. Korea

All News 16:13 September 24, 2019

SEOUL, Sept. 24 (Yonhap) -- The number of homes in South Korea has increased by nearly 5 million over the past decade and more than half of them have been purchased by buyers who already own at least one home, according to a report released Tuesday.

The Citizens' Coalition for Economic Justice (CCEJ), an NGO, and Rep. Chung Dong-young, leader of the minor opposition Party for Democracy and Peace, unveiled their joint analysis of housing data from government agencies, which showed deepening inequality in home ownership.

According to the data, the total number of houses across the country increased by 4.89 million from 15.1 million in 2008 to 19.99 million in 2018. But the number of homeowners increased by 2.41 million from 10.58 million to 12.99 million during the same period.

That means 2.48 million units were bought by existing homeowners, the report said, with 83.8 percent purchased by the top 10 percent of multiple homeowners.

The number of people in the top 10-percent bracket increased by 240,000 from 1.06 million in 2008 to 1.3 million in 2018, while the number of homes owned by them jumped by 2.08 million from 2.43 million to 4.51 million. Their average ownership per person increased from 2.3 units to 3.5 units.

The size of the top 1 percent group increased 24,000 people from 106,000 to 130,000, while their possession more than doubled by 540,000 units from 370,000 to 910,000 -- on average, from 3.5 units to 7 units.

Rep. Chung and the CCEJ estimated the value of all homes nationwide in 2018 at 6,022 trillion won (US$5.031 trillion), up 3,091 trillion won from 10 years earlier.

That means the average value of housing per homeowner has risen by about 200 million won to 460 million won. For the upper 1-percent bracket, the average value has increased 1.1 trillion won per person, the report showed.

Apartment complexes in Seoul are shown in this photo provided by Hyundai Development Co. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Apartment complexes in Seoul are shown in this photo provided by Hyundai Development Co. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


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