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Rising home prices amid hoped-for redevelopment in focus: finance minister

This photo, taken on Sunday, shows apartment buildings in Seoul. (Yonhap)
This photo, taken on Sunday, shows apartment buildings in Seoul. (Yonhap)
Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said Thursday the government is guarding against signs of instability in the housing market as prices of some old apartments in Seoul have picked up on expectations for eased rules for redevelopment housing projects.

Housing prices in Seoul recently climbed after new Mayor Oh Se-hoon took office last month with a pledge to ease regulations on rebuilding old apartments in the capital.

"The growth of apartment prices in Seoul is picking up compared to before the mayoral by-elections last month," Hong said at a meeting on the housing market.

Oh won the April 7 by-elections with a pledge to ease rules on reconstructing old apartments in Seoul as he seeks to increase the home supply in the capital, where about one-fifth of South Korea's population of 51 million live.

Sales prices of apartments in Seoul rose 0.08 percent on-week in the fourth week of April, unchanged from the previous week, according to the Korea Real Estate Board.

But the growth of housing prices picked up, compared with the price gains in the runup to the elections.

Hong also said the government will speed up its consultations with the ruling Democratic Party to draw up measures to rein in high-flying housing prices and ease people's burdens of home buying.

The government and the governing party have been looking at ways to recalibrate the housing policies following the DP's crushing defeat in the April elections amid the public's outrage against the runaway housing prices. (Yonhap)