Spending on housing is growing rapidly. Housing costs per family surged 20.8 percent over the last year to W74,200 a month on average, according to Statistics Korea (US$1=W1,238). This is the first time since 2003 costs have exceeded W70,000.
Spending on housing includes rent and other related costs to dwelling but not interest on home loans and other expenses related to home purchase or jeonse or Korean-style deposit leases.
Statistics Korea said the rise was largely due to fewer jeonse homes being offered. Amid record low interest rates, more and more landlords prefer to collect monthly rent.
Meanwhile, it is becoming increasingly impossible for low-income households to buy their own home. As of December last year, the average apartment in Seoul cost W551.3 million to buy, 154 times more than the monthly disposable household income of W3.56 million.
That means the average household would have to save every single penny for 12.9 years to afford their own home. In 2014, the period was 11.9 years.