Gov't Unveils Tougher Curbs on Property Prices


    December 17, 2019 09:09

    The government on Monday unveiled a new set of curbs including lending restrictions aimed at cooling overheated home prices and real-estate speculation.

    The move comes amid revelations that some senior Cheong Wa Dae officials have seen the value of their properties in posh areas skyrocket despite ostensible curbs. The fresh restrictions include a ban on home loans on properties valued at less than W150 million effective on Tuesday (US$1=W1,174).

    For homes valued at over W900 million, the loan-to-value ratio will be cut to 20 percent, down from the previous 40 percent.

    Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said areas like Seoul's tony Gangnam have seen housing prices soar due to low interest rates.

    People with multiple homes will be given a six-month grace period until next June to sell surplus homes without having to pay transfer tax.

    The government will also step up checks to stop illegal home purchases by investigating the source of funding. Areas with price ceilings on new apartments will be expanded in Seoul and nearby areas.

    The government added that it will closely monitor the effects and may take additional steps to curb housing prices next year.

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