May 10, 2016 11:32
The number of derelict homes in Korea surged from 790,000 in 2010 to a million in 2015 as the housing supply surpassed 100 percent in 2008.
The main reason is the aging society. With the decreasing population of young people, only 360,000 new homes are needed a year for those who get married or start to live alone, but new housing supply amounts to 510,000 units.
Experts say parts of the outskirts of major cities and surrounding bed towns are already turning into slums.
The city of Busan has been offering up to W18 million to remodel an empty house since 2012 (US$1=W1,170). In return, the new owner must let it at half the market price to students or low-income families for three years.
Seoul has had a similar project since last year. The targets are derelict homes close to public transport routes that can be remodeled for less than W40 million.
Seoul city provides half of the remodeling cost, while the new owner must let the home for 80 percent of the market rate.
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