October 14, 2017 08:04
Singles or couples without kids will account for the vast majority of households by 2045, according to a projection, driving up demand for smaller apartments across Korea.
The Construction Economy Research Institute of Korea said analysis of Statistics Korea data shows the total number of households in Korea rising from 19.5 million in 2017 to a peak of 22.34 million in 2043.
And households will get smaller. The number of single or two-person households is expected to account for 71.3 percent by 2045, with single households making up the bigger share at 36.3 percent or 8.1 million people. This year they already account for 55.4 percent of total households.
Four-person households or nuclear families, which used to be the norm, will shrink from 23.2 percent this year to just nine percent in 2045 as the average number of people per household dwindles from 2.53 at present to 2.1.
Im Ki-soo at the institute said, "Preference for smaller homes is expected to rise with the growth in the number of one to two-person households."
Prices of small apartments have been rising steeply recently. According to KB Real Estate, the price of a small apartment of less than 40 sq.m in Seoul has soared 24.28 percent from W241.9 million last year (US$1=W1,130). Over the same period, the prices of mid-sized to large apartments rose at a much slower rate.
Other realtors forecast increasing demand for monthly rental homes. Kang Min-seok at KB Financial Group said, "Among single householders, 31 percent own the homes they live in, which is about half the level of ownership among two-person households, while 45.9 percent live in monthly rentals."
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