July 26, 2021 13:59
The number of people who own more than two homes increased by around 37,000 despite punitive taxes slapped on them by the government in a botched attempt to curb speculation.
According to Supreme Court registry data on Sunday, 1.95 million people in Korea owned more than two high-rise or low-rise apartments or studios as of June, up 1.9 percent since July 2020, when the government announced a set of curbs aiming to get multiple-home owners to sell their properties.
The number of people who owned more than three homes increased by 6,468 to 435,384 over the period.
It appears multiple-home owners did not feel the need to dispose of their surplus property because transfer taxes are even higher than real estate taxes and property prices are expected to rise further.
Many people bought apartments for less than W100 million, which are tax-exempt, or homes in areas not designated as speculative zones, which do not require the owners to live in them (US$1=W1,151).
Apartment sales in seven areas not designated as speculative zones including Yeoju, Pocheon and Icheon in Gyeonggi Province surged 85 percent on-year during the first five months of this year to 25,541.
As owners held on to their properties, the number of apartments for sale or lease in Seoul in fact declined 48.7 percent on-year as of July to 64,230 units, according to real estate market researcher Asil.
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