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Home transactions sink 47.6% in March on lending curbs

Apartment buildings in Seoul (Yonhap)
Apartment buildings in Seoul (Yonhap)

Home transactions in South Korea plunged 47.6 percent on-year in March on the government's tough lending curbs and rising interest rates, data showed Friday.

The number of homes changing hands nationwide stood at 43,179 units last month, compared with 102,109 deals made a year ago, according to the data from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

The March figure also marked a 38.2 percent decrease compared with the average transactions logged over the past five years.

The number of home transactions in Seoul dived 54.2 percent on-year, and provincial regions other than the capital city fell 36.8 percent.

Apartment transactions plunged 53.5 percent on-year to 32,483, with those of other housing types falling 35 percent, according to the data.

The lackluster market came amid tighter restrictions on mortgages and rising lending rates following the central bank's hikes of the country's benchmark interest rate.

In April, South Korea's central bank raised its key interest rate by a quarter percentage point to 1.5 percent -- the highest level in about three years to rein in rising inflation pressure as the ongoing war in Ukraine has sent oil and major commodity prices even higher.

The number of home transactions marked a 23.8 percent on-month growth in March on hopes of eased regulations by the incoming government of President-elect Yoon Suk-youl.

The country's new home permits rose 6.7 percent on-year to 112,282 units in March. while the number of groundbreakings for new homes went down 32.3 percent on-year to 39,756 units, the data showed. (Yonhap)

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