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More efforts to be focused on stabilizing housing market this year: finance minister

This photo, provided by the Ministry of Economy and Finance last Tuesday, shows Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki presiding over a meeting on emergency economic responses at the government complex building in central Seoul. (Ministry of Finance)
This photo, provided by the Ministry of Economy and Finance last Tuesday, shows Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki presiding over a meeting on emergency economic responses at the government complex building in central Seoul. (Ministry of Finance)
Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said Monday that the government will spare no efforts this year to stabilize housing prices that have been rising despite a series of measures to cool down the property market.

The minister also said that policy efforts will be put into place to pull off a "fast and strong" economic recovery this year as Asia's fourth-largest economy faces growing uncertainties such as a resurgence in new coronavirus cases.

"From the beginning of the new year, we will mobilize all policy resources to stabilize the property market definitely and clearly," Hong said in the new year message.

South Korea's housing prices have showed no letup despite the government's efforts to curb rising home prices, including tax hikes and loan regulations. Prices of houses for rental recently spiked up as supplies dried up.

Skyrocketing home prices are viewed as the main factor that drove the approval ratings for President Moon Jae-in to the lowest point since he took office in May 2017.

Hong said the government will do its best to help the country post a V-shaped economic recovery this year, saying that it will put priority on boosting the job market severely battered by the new coronavirus outbreak.

"The finance ministry will make further efforts to help the country's economy grow 3.2 percent and create 150,000 jobs this year," the minister said.

In its economic policy plan for 2021, the finance ministry said Asia's fourth-largest economy is expected to rebound in 2021 on improving exports and domestic demand, following last year's estimated contraction of 1.1 percent.

The government said it will center on boosting consumption and propping up the sluggish job market as the country sets its sights on overcoming economic slumps caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. (Yonhap)
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