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Korean government lays out revised measures to stimulate ailing housing market

Updated: 2013-12-04 AM 10:17:04 (KST)
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The Korean government has laid out a set of revised measures to boost the country's ailing housing market.
The measures, announced during an economy-related ministers' meeting on Tuesday, come as a means to improving two sets of housing policies introduced earlier this year.
Despite implementation of the policies already introduced, Finance Minister Hyun Oh-seok who chaired the meeting said that the real estate market has failed to enter into a state of full recovery.

"There are low expectations that housing prices are going to rise, and there's also the imbalance of supply and demand due to soaring rental security deposits."

To counter the lingering uncertainties in the nation's housing market, the revised stimulus measures include unifying the types of government-backed mortgage loans.
The government will also allocate 11-trillion won, or roughly 10-billion U.S. dollars, for government mortgage loans next year, the same as this year's record amount.

"As one, single bank will run the loan program, more homebuyers will be able to secure loans at lower interest rates."

Under the new measures, the overall number of so-called "happy houses," which are a form of public rental housing, will be cut by 30 percent to 140-thousand.
But the number of other forms of state-owned rental homes solely for low-income families will rise, from 60-thousand, as previously planned, to 110-thousand.
Revitalizing the nation's faltering housing market has been a major focus for economic policymakers, as 70 percent of assets held by Korean households are in real estate.

"Because of that, officials say the ailing housing market could have a negative impact on consumption, which makes up more than half of the nation's gross domestic product.
Hwang Ji-hye, Arirang News."

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