September 15, 2020 08:40
Soaring apartment prices are adding to the stress of office workers, a straw poll suggests.
According to KB Kookmin Bank, the median price of apartments in Seoul surged from W606.3 million in May of 2017, when President Moon Jae-in took office, to W922 million last month (US$1=W1,89).
The Chosun Ilbo polled 416 office workers recently, and 51.9 percent said surging apartment prices sapped their motivation to work.
Attitudes have also changed. The gauge of success has shifted from how people do their job to the amount of real estate they own. Asked which boss they respect more, a mediocre one who owns real estate or an able one who does not, 57 percent picked the former. Only 18.8 percent picked the latter.
"After finding out that a vice president who I respected didn't even own his own apartment, I started to feel sorry for him," a 35-year-old office worker said.
The government has come up with 23 sets of regulations so far to tame soaring apartment prices, which have only added to the stress of office workers.
Asked if the government's real-estate measures affect work, 40.2 percent said they are distracted as they try to figure out the impact of the latest regulations. Home owners react more sensitively to the regulations, with 54.3 percent of apartment owners saying the regulations distract them, compared to 26.6 percent of those who do not.
One 37-year-old housewife who lives in northern Seoul said, "I couldn't concentrate on my work after the new regulations were announced because I had to worry about how to deal with the tenant in my rental home."
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