Finance minister calls for acceleration of measures to expand housing supply

SEOUL, South Korea’s finance minister instructed his officials Monday to accelerate efforts to draw up measures to increase housing supply, saying that stabilizing housing prices is the most pressing issue.
Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki called for mobilizing all policy efforts to tame soaring home prices, after President Moon Jae-in apologized for the issue earlier in the day amid mounting public criticism over housing policy.
“As the property market issue is the most pressing one in terms of people’s lives, policy efforts should be concentrated on stabilizing the market as swiftly as possible,” Hong said during a video conference with senior ministry officials.
He stressed the need to accelerate the government’s move to draw up “various” measures for housing supply and check the progress of redevelopment projects under construction rules eased in August last year, according to the finance ministry.
In his New Year’s address, President Moon apologized to the public over the housing market problem, pledging “swift and various” measures for the supply of new houses.
The country’s housing prices have not fallen despite the government’s measures to cool down the real estate market, as low interest rates and anticipation for further price gains prompted more people to rush to buy homes. Prices of houses for rental also spiked up as supplies dried up.
Hong told a TV program Sunday that the country plans to develop areas near public transportation stations and permit more redevelopment and reconstruction housing projects in a bid to increase the number of available homes.
The minister also said the government may explore ways to encourage multiple home owners to sell their houses as a potential step to increase supply.
The minister plans to preside over a pan-governmental meeting on the property market on Friday.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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