The U.S. Federal Reserve's move to taper off its stimulus program could have an impact on South Korea's housing market, a state-run think tank said Wednesday, calling for the government's stepped-up market monitoring.
"Despite continued rise in home prices in the U.S. and China, concerns are still being raised that the Fed's tapering of quantitative easing could result in contraction of the housing market," the Korea Development Institute said in a quarterly report that analyzed the latest real estate market situations.
"There might be little impact in the short term, but in the longer term, it is likely that the tapering would affect the market. It is necessary (for the government) to continue monitoring," it added.
The KDI backed up its worries by citing the recent upward trend in home mortgage rates in the U.S. and a sharp decline in the fourth-quarter lending by such large financial institutions as JP Morgan and Wells Fargo, apparently affected by the Fed's move to scale back its bond-purchasing program.
The KDI said that the housing market here was showing signs of rebounding from a protracted slump, with home prices and transactions both picking up.
The report showed that home prices rose 3.1 percent on-quarter in the October-December period, while apartment transactions also jumped 35.8 percent on-year in October and 21.4 percent in November. (Yonhap News)