January 03, 2017 11:18
Some 1.07 million homes sat empty as of the end of 2015 as the birthrate continues to dwindle, surpassing the million mark for the first time ever.
Their number is expected to rise to 1.48 million in 2035 and to 3.02 million in 2050, accounting for 10 percent of total homes amid the ever-declining birthrate, according to the Korea Land and Geospatial Informatix Corporation.
The latest census shows that the number of empty homes rose by 250,000 units since 2010 and accounted for 6.5 percent of total homes.
Rural Gangwon Province is expected to see a 23.2 percent decline in its population by 2050 and South Jeolla Province 25.4 percent, resulting in one out of four homes sitting empty unless they are razed.
In Seoul, the number of empty homes is expected to surge from 79,000 in 2015 to 310,000 in 2050.
In trendsetting Japan, 13.5 percent of homes were empty as of 2013 and even in Tokyo more than 11 percent.
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