The Korea Herald


Apartment transactions dive in June ahead of housing subscription program launch

By Choi Jae-hee

Published : July 30, 2021 - 14:16

    • Link copied

Apartment complexes in Seoul (Yonhap) Apartment complexes in Seoul (Yonhap)
Nationwide apartment transactions plunged in June ahead of the launch on Wednesday of a subscription program for newly built homes, which put the brakes on a buying spree in the local real estate market, data showed Friday. 

According to the data from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, a total of 88,922 apartment units changed hands across the nation last month, down 35.8 percent from 138,578 a year earlier. 

In the Greater Seoul area, the transaction volume fell 44.4 percent on-year to 42,016. The figure for transactions outside the capital, 46,906 homes, was down 25.6 percent from a year earlier. 

Meanwhile, the number of apartment transactions nationwide saw a 17.5 percent on-year decline in the January-June period to 373,014. 

“The government’s announcement in January that it would begin a series of subscription processes during the second quarter for houses in new towns on the outskirts of Seoul, and in Incheon and Gyeonggi Province, appeared to have slowed down the so-called ‘panic buying’ trend in the local property market, driven by the ample liquidity due to expansionary fiscal and monetary policies,” said Song Seung-hyun, head of real estate consulting firm Urban & Economy.

Currently, the government requires construction firms to allocate a designated number of new apartments for newlyweds or first-time homebuyers through a lottery system. Applicants must earn no more than the median income.

“The financial authorities’ tougher regulations to cool down the overheated real estate market also had an impact on the recent decline in housing transactions,” Song added. 

Starting in June, people who own three or more homes face a property transfer tax amounting to 75 percent of their gains. Previously, the maximum was 65 percent.