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S. Korea’s home transactions plunge 23.4% in H1

[THE INVESTOR] As an apparent sign of a slowdown in the local real estate market, the number of home transactions came to 468,000 during the January-June period, compared to a record high of 611,000 a year ago, the government said on July 14.

South Korea’s home transactions fell 23.4 percent in the first six months of the year from a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

For June alone, home sales fell 16.1 percent on-year to 92,611, marking the seventh consecutive month of on-year drop following an 18.8-percent plunge in the previous month. From a month earlier, however, it posted a 3.7-percent on-month gain.

In June, home transactions in the capital region fell 7.6 percent on-year, while the number for rural areas plunged 25.2 percent.

By type, transactions involving apartment units plunged 17.9 percent, with those involving row and detached houses also slipping 8.1 percent and 18.3 percent on-year, respectively, the ministry said.

The sharp on-year decline in the number of home transactions was driven by a base effect stemming from a boom in the local property market in 2015.

South Korea had churned out measures including a rate cut to revitalize the real estate market and the entire economy. As a result, home transactions spiked 18.8 percent on-year to an all-time high of 1,193,691 last year.