South Koreans own homes at age 43: survey

Home ownership continues to elude younger generations

Pedestrians cross the street near Gangnam Station in Seoul. Joshua Davenport/Shutterstock

The average age of South Koreans who acquired their first homes during a four-year period ending 2018 was 43.3, according to a survey by the Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements via Korea Bizwire.

In comparison, the average age of household ownership was 43 in the 2017 survey and 41.9 in 2016.

The newest survey, which involved 61,275 households, also found that the average age of home ownership went higher among lower-income households—at 56.7 years.

The loan burden on first-time home buyers has also grown higher, survey results showed. The loan-to-value ratio for homes at the time of purchase was 37.8 percent on average, down 0.4 percentage points from 38.2 percent in 2017.

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For young and newlywed households, the loan-to-value ratio was 45.6 percent and 43.2 percent, respectively, at the time of purchase.

Around 83.3 percent of newlyweds said they “need to have a home,” survey findings showed. Yet many of them, along with young households, are compelled to rent, “wandering from place to place,” the BizWire is reporting.

Around 80.9 percent and 69.7 percent of young and newlywed households, respectively, lived in homes for less than two years.

For “ordinary” households, the proportion of people who resided in a property for less than two years was 36.4 percent.