Gov’t will add 132,000 homes in and around Seoul
The government announced Tuesday that it will facilitate the supply of 132,000 new homes in Seoul and the surrounding Gyeonggi Province by easing construction rules and making more land available in its latest effort to curb property speculation and stabilize home prices.
Construction rules will be eased through the increase of floor area ratios, measured by building area divided by lot area, to up to 500 percent, which will allow for the redevelopment of aging apartments. Also the current height restriction limit of 35 stories for apartment blocks will be raised to 50.
Lands to be opened for home construction include those previously occupied by state-run organizations, and areas returned by the United State Forces of Korea or owned by the Seoul Metropolitan Government.
The supply-bolstering measure is part of the government’s 23rd real estate policy to curb speculation amid the rapid uptrend of apartment prices in Seoul and the rest of the country over the past three years.
“The government plans to maximize the supply of homes in the market to help people achieve stable, longterm living arrangements,” Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said during a briefing at the Seoul Government Complex in Gwanghwamun, Monday.
Around 10,000 homes will be built at the former Taereung Country Club in Nowon, northern Seoul; and 3,100 in Camp Kim, an old military facility in Yongsan, downtown Seoul. The golf course was made available after the government lifted a “green belt” restriction put in place there to help preserve the wild, agricultural land near the highly developed urban area.
Around 6,200 homes will be built on land previously occupied by state-run organizations, with most of these to be offered to young people and newly-weds, a group of people for whom stable housing has increasingly become a distant dream, the government said.
Four thousand homes will be made available in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province, where another government complex was located before it was moved to Sejong.
Under the eased re-development rule, Korea Land & Housing Corp. (LH) and Seoul Housing & Communities Corp. (SH), the two state-run entities, will play a role in ensuring the supply of up to twice the number of existing homes will be built in certain areas after the government’s re-development plan takes effect.
Seoul National University economist Lee In-ho remained skeptical over the measures noting that the much-distorted real estate market will only experience further confusion due to a lack of deep consideration about people’s wants and needs.
“People want to live in decent homes in decent areas, not government-rented homes. The increase in supply will never draw the desired outcome because of the administration’s continued failure to understand what people really want,” he said.
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki, center, Land Minister Kim Hyun-mee, left, and acting Seoul Mayor Seo Jeong-hyub give a press briefing at the Seoul Government Complex in Gwanghwamun, Tuesday.