South Korea grants fewer home construction permits in 2019

The Seoul metropolitan region remains an outlier though

Gwangalli Beach, a popular tourist destination in Busan, South Korea. Gaid Kornsilapa/Shutterstock

Fewer home building permits were issued in South Korea in the first six months of 2019 than the same period a year ago amid stringent curbs on the housing market.

The number of construction permits for new homes dropped from 249,505 in H1 2018 to 226,594 in H1 2019, according to figures released this week by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, Yonhap reported.

The dwindling figures coincided with dropping home prices in regions outside Seoul as well as strict regulations pertaining to home rebuilding projects.

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The number of construction permits issued for homes outside metropolitan Seoul hit just 97,556, a descent of 26.3 percent on the year, ministry data showed. Conversely, those issued for Seoul homes numbered around 37,643, an increase of 34.6 percent year-on-year.

Under President Moon Jae-in, South Korean housing authorities have unleashed a range of property curbs to temper an overheated residential market.

While the measures were able to decrease home prices in Seoul’s affluent neighbourhoods, weekly fluctuation rates show that prices may be on the rebound.

On 1 July, apartment prices in Seoul posted a weekly growth of 0.02 percent, ending a streak of declines since November when the cooling measures were implemented, according to data from the Korea Appraisal Board.