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Home buying fell 1.6% in August amid gov’t scrutiny

Sept 19,2017
The number of real estate transactions fell by 1.9 percent in August compared to a month earlier and 1.6 percent from last year, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said Monday.

The total number of purchases stood at 96,578 last month, down from 98,414 from July. In the Seoul metropolitan area, the number of transactions totaled 57,094, slightly up by 0.5 percent year on year, while the rest of the country saw a 4.5 percent decrease compared to the same month last year.

But the monthly figure is a 33 percent increase from the average number of such transactions over the past five years, which stands at 72,615.

Last month, the government passed stricter regulations for underwriting mortgages in hopes of cooling the real estate market.

The number of rental contracts signed in August was 143,841, up 9.1 percent from July and 0.2 percent from last year. Out of all contracts, the percentage of monthly contracts accounted for 42.1 percent, down by 1.1 percent from the same month last year.