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Jeonse prices on rise as demand for house purchases falls

Apartment complexes in Seoul. (Yonhap)
Apartment complexes in Seoul. (Yonhap)



The average price for the jeonse -- a real estate term unique to South Korea that refers to a property lease -- in Seoul has surpassed 460 million won ($375,000) for the first time, continuing the recent upward trend, data showed Monday.

According to the Korea Appraisal Board, a property assessment agency, the average jeonse prices in the capital have been rising since July to reach 460.7 million won as of March.

Separate data from property services platform KB Kookmin Bank Liiv On also showed that the median price of apartments in Seoul stood at 450.6 million won, the highest since relevant records started in 2008.

Some market watchers said demand for two-year rent has been gaining traction as the Korean government has been ramping up its efforts to cap the prices of apartments, tightening mortgage regulations. Coupled with the coronavirus crisis, the strict regulations have been so far effective in keeping a lid on the heated real estate market.

“As tenants want to renew their jeonse contracts these days, the market is currently seeing a shortage of rental houses,” an official from data tracker Real Estate 114 was quoted as saying by Yonhap News Agency.

In contrast to previous forecasts, fewer people have switched to monthly rent in recent months as interest rates for jeonse loans have remained relatively lower than before.

Low interest rates for jeonse loans drove up prices for the two-year rent last month while prices to purchase apartments in Seoul dropped for the first time in nine months, the KAB data showed.

The proportion of valid jeonse contracts in the housing market accounted for 74.6 percent in March, up from 71.5 percent in both February and January and 70.6 percent in December.

By Kim Young-won (wone0102@heraldcorp.com)
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