(Maekyung DB)

Finding a house in Seoul that is becoming increasingly impossible… 2.7% of middle-income households who can afford an apartment in Seoul

(Maekyung DB)

As house prices have soared over the past five years, it was found that less than three out of 100 apartments in Seoul last year were available for median-income households to purchase. This is a huge drop compared to when we were able to purchase about 16 to 17 houses five years ago.

Median-income households refer to households that account for 50% (middle) of all households when ranked based on income. The housing purchase quantity index (K-HOI) is the ratio of housing available to middle-income households (0-100). A lower number means fewer available purchases.

In 2012, 32.5% of median-income households in Seoul were able to purchase apartments with loans. This number fell from 16.5% in 2017 to 2.5% last year. The decrease in the housing purchase quantity index in the Gyeonggi region is also remarkable. It fell from 62.3% in 2012 to 51.3% in 2017 and 26.2% last year. Incheon fell from 52.9% to 32.5%. The Daejeon housing purchase volume index fell from 73.1% five years ago to 42.0% last year, the largest decline in the country.

The sharp drop in the number of apartments that middle-income households can afford is because new house prices have risen sharply in the past five years. As a result of analysis of real estate statistics from the Korea Real Estate Agency by Real House, a pre-sale evaluation company, the average selling price per pyeong of an apartment across the country has risen by 80.6% over the past five years (March 2017 to March 2022). Among 17 cities and provinces nationwide, 105.4% in Seoul, 105.5% in Gyeonggi, and 177.6% in Sejong.

Kwon Dae-jung, a real estate professor at Myongji University, said, “It is getting more and more difficult to buy a house with earned income in Seoul.

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