Land ministry proposes measures to revitalize housing marketUpdated: 2014-02-20 06:30:29 (KST)
During a policy briefing on Wednesday, the Ministry of Land called for revitalizing the housing market by easing restrictions.
The pitch included a number of measures.
Regarding the reconstruction of houses, the land ministry said there is a need to scale back on some of the policies imposed back in 2006 that were put in place to quell housing speculation.
That could include abolishing a policy that requires homeowners to pay back some of the profits gained from rising house prices after renovations.
Limiting a household to buying just one house in some areas of the Seoul metropolitan area would also no longer apply.
The ministry also wants to ease the eligibility for government-backed mortgage loans to include more home-buyers.
First-time buyers are currently only eligible for loans that have interest rates in the one-percent range, but with the change, those who have not owned a house for five years would be eligible as well.
The ministry aims to make public rental housing available to 90-thousand households this year and to 500-thousand households by the year 2017.
The set of measures is being introduced in part to counter soaring housing rental prices that have risen since 2008.
The goal is to ease the imbalance between supply and demand in "jeonse" -- a rental system unique to Korea that requires one large, lump-sum deposit.
The task of boosting the nation's faltering housing market has been a major issue for economic policymakers, as more than half of Korean households' assets are in real estate.
And because of that, many fear that the ailing housing market could have a negative impact on the nation's consumption, which makes up a majority of the nation's gross domestic product.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.
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