Over 1 Million Homes Sit Empty

  • By Yang Mo-deum

    September 08, 2016 13:25

    More than a million homes in Korea are empty, Statistics Korea said Wednesday.

    As of November there were 16.4 million homes in the nation, but 1.07 million or 6.5 percent were empty. Some 5.8 percent of apartments are unoccupied as property developers put up high-risers on spec and many remain unsold.

    But there is still a housing shortage in Seoul, which had the fewest unsold homes at 2.8 percent or 79,000.

    A look at the expected structural changes in the population raises the possibility of more and more homes sitting empty.

    Due to a persistently low birthrate and aging society, the population in their 30s and 40s, the main home buyers, is stagnating, while senior citizens are multiplying.

    In Japan, which already experiences the ripple effects of an aging population, 8.2 million or one in seven homes are empty.

    Apartments accounted for 37.7 percent of total homes in 1995, but that has surged to 59.9 percent. But family houses, which accounted for half of the homes 20 years ago, have dwindled to 24.3 percent.

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