FINANCE

Moon admits failure of real estate policy

By Kim Young-won

Under Moon’s presidency, Seoul apartment prices rose 35% on average

  • Published : May 10, 2021 - 17:19
  • Updated : May 10, 2021 - 17:19

South Korean President Moon Jae-in delivers a speech in a media event to mark his fourth year in office on Monday in Seoul. (Yonhap)


South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday said that the government’s efforts for the past four years have fallen short of cooling down the heated real estate market. His remarks come after the government rolled out more than 20 sets of real estate regulations to rein in the overheated property market for the past years.

“Real estate is one of the issues that I wish I had solved in the past four years,” said President Moon, in a media interview to mark his fourth year in office.

“The government has not been able to achieve its goal to stabilize soaring real estate prices, and the administration faced dismal results in the April by-election in Seoul and Busan.”

He said the by-election defeats were a serious wake-up call for him, and he vowed to revise the existing property policy.

In early 2019, Moon pledged to stabilize house prices, which have been skyrocketing after he took the helm in Korea on May 10, 2017. His presidential term is set to end next year.

For the past four years, home prices rose more than 35 percent on average in Seoul, according to KB Kookmin Bank’s own research team. The prices of residential units are still on the rise despite a series of regulations, including strict mortgage rules, and the designation of special zones in which buying property requires approval from authorities.

The Moon administration has received flak for failing to put a lid on home prices, which in some areas in Seoul have more than doubled under Moon’s presidency.

The average price of an apartment unit measuring 82.4 square meters jumped around 80 percent from 660 million won ($592,000) in 2017 to 1.19 billion won in 2020, according to civic group Citizens’ Coalition for Economic Justice. The organization analyzed 63,000 apartments in 22 apartment complexes in Seoul.

During the Lee Myung-bak administration, which was from Feb. 25, 2008 to Feb. 25, 2013, the average price dropped 8 percent, while it increased 25 percent when former President Park Geun-hye was in office from Feb. 25, 2013 to March, 10 2017.

Although the government failed to cool down the overheated market, Moon has vowed to continue working to protect potential home buyers and stem real estate speculation.

By Kim Young-won (wone0102@heraldcorp.com)