Korea sees growing demand of one-person households from young Koreans

Property experts suggest the government consider this phenomenon into housing policies  

According to Statistics Korea, more than 1.26 million people in their 20s were living alone as of 2020, a 43 percent surge from about 887,000 in 2015.  Stockforyou/Shutterstock

According to The Korea Times, more young adults are seeking financial and personal independence, increasing the demand for one-person households. 

On top of saving time on the daily commute, an independent life to spend free time after work in their own space, are some of the reasons for their choice in leaving the nest. 

“Now that I have a full-time job with a stable income, I wanted to lead an independent life without receiving any financial support from my parents. I also wanted to spend my free time after work in peace in my own space,” said Park Yu-hui, an office worker. 

Getting a bank loan to finance a KRW120 million (USD102,000) “jeonse” deposit (home rental based on large deposits) was not an easy decision, but Park says “it was worth it.” 

“Kangaroo tribe” is a term used to describe unmarried me and women who choose to stay economically dependent on their parents until their late 30s.  

However, more young adults in recent years have been opting to leave the nest before marriage.  

According to Statistics Korea, more than 1.26 million people in their 20s were living alone as of 2020, a 43 percent surge from about 887,000 in 2015.  

This surge is striking considering that the increased rate of overall one-person households in all age groups stood at 27 percent during the same period. 

Currently, single-person households in their 20s account for almost 20 percent of the total one-person households across the country.  

Moreover, property experts suggest that this movement should be taken into account in the government’s housing policies. 

Present housing policies are focused on households traditionally considered “typical” comprising of parents and unmarried children. 

“Currently, unmarried people in their 20s are in a very difficult position in terms of obtaining their own house, or moving to a bigger house other than micro apartments,” said Seo Jin-hyung, head of the Korea Real Estate Society.  

“In addition to relatively low assets, they are virtually excluded from housing benefits provided by the government,” Seo added. 

More: Foreigners’ transactions in Korean properties reach a high of 16,405 deals

Based on the growing demand for one-person households, Seo believes that authorities should draw up supply plans.  

“Micro-apartments and studio apartments should not be the only options as a long-term living environment for younger people,” he said. 

The Property Report editors wrote this article. For more information, email: [email protected]. 

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