South Korea is experiencing a surge in house prices, particularly in Seoul where they have risen by more than 50% since 2017. The average property in the capital is now 14 times the country’s average household income.
The government has introduced over twenty measures in the last three years to stabilise the market but to no avail. These have included turning military sites in residential areas. Its most recent attempt to keep up with housing demand has been to convert hotels and offices in Seoul into rental units.
It aims to provide 114,000 homes for public housing over the next two years. It is worth noting that the greater Seoul region has a population of over 26 million.
The housing shortage is a worldwide phenomenon. Whether the UK government, with all its recent spending on furlough schemes etc. should commit even more expenditure to converting empty retail space (of which there are lots) and vacant offices (which are growing in number) for public housing is open to question.