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Presidential office not seeking to exploit property market as means for stimulating economy

South Korea's Moon Jae-in administration won't artificially boost the property market in a bid to stimulate the economy, a senior presidential official said Sunday.

The local housing market, mainly apartment transactions, has been notably sluggish since the government's tough regulations on it became effective on Sept  13, 2018.

The move was aimed at curbing apartment prices that had been skyrocketing at that time.


Many agree that the market overheated as a result of a set of deregulations on loans and housing purchases by the previous Park Geun-hye administration amid expansionary monetary policies to prop up economic growth.

"The housing market is stabilizing" due to the government's measures, Cheong Wa Dae Senior Secretary for Economic Affairs Yoon Jong-won told reporters. "But the downward stabilization should go on in order to stabilize residential conditions of low-and middle-income brackets."

He stressed that the government will never use the housing market as a means to provide a stimulus to the economy.

He reaffirmed that the government will make an announcement by June on a detailed scheme to supply 110,000 more houses. It has already revealed plans to spearhead the supply of 190,000 new houses.

Yoon acknowledged lethargic private job creation, saying there's much to be desired in efforts to increase employment in the manufacturing sector. Another problem is a constant reduction in the number of part-time jobs.

Nonetheless, South Korea's economy maintains "robust macroeconomic fundamentals" and highest-level sovereign credit ratings, he pointed out.

This year, the government expected initially that the domestic economy would grow 2.6-2.7 percent and 150,000 jobs would be added.

But external uncertainties, such as a drop in semiconductor prices, have grown, he said.

He added the government will endeavor to nurture the country's future growth engines in such fields as bio-health and non-memory semiconductors. (Yonhap)