The Korea Housing Affordability Index rose to 116.7 in the fourth-quarter of last year, up 6.4 percentage points from a quarter earlier, according to the Korea Housing-Finance Corp.
It was the highest quarterly figure since the fourth-quarter of 2011, when the index stood at 119.4.
The index reflects the level of loan repayment for homebuyers with median income who purchase average-priced housing.
Higher numbers indicate more obligations, with an index of 100 meaning that 100 percent of income goes to paying back the principal of home-backed loans.
Nationwide, the index rose 1.2 percentage points from the previous quarter to 61.3 in the fourth quarter of last year.
Early last year, the government unveiled a set of measures to tighten lending rules on homes to try to cool the overheated property sector.
It adopted stricter rules requiring multiple-home owners to pay higher capital gains tax when they sell their houses. Also, the government has toughened the loan-to-value and debt-to-income ratios, which limit homebuyers' ability to get home-backed loans through their property value and income.
However, home prices in Seoul's Gangnam district have jumped on rising demand for reconstruction projects in apartment units.(Yonhap)