Koreans See No Quick Improvement in Real Estate Market

Most Koreans do not expect the real estate market to recover for several years. In a survey released by the Bank of Korea on Monday, 28.1 percent of 2,119 households predicted that housing prices will fall over the next year, while 17.9 percent said that they will rise and 54 percent that they will stay more or less the same.

But when asked about housing prices in five years' time, 38.1 percent forecasted they will go up, 26.6 percent that they will drop, and 35.7 percent that they will stay the same.

Some 57.1 percent of those surveyed had taken out housing loans, and 13.1 percent spent more than 40 percent of their total household income to repay the principal and interest.

Among those with housing loans, 58.9 percent said they are struggling to keep up with repayments.

Three out of 10 households applied for new loans or rollover loans to banks last year, and an alarming 31.4 percent said it was for living expenses.

englishnews@chosun.com / Feb. 26, 2013 12:51 KST