SEOUL, March 21 (Korea Bizwire) – The number of fake real estate transaction filings more than doubled in 2017 from the previous year as more people tried to evade taxes amid a real estate boom in Seoul and its adjacent cities, government data showed Wednesday.
As many as 772 false reports were submitted last year to lower the price of real estate transactions, up 127 percent from 339 in 2016, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said, adding that 391 cases were found last year in which the realty transaction prices were filed higher than the actual amount.
The ministry said it has fined those involved and transferred the falsified transaction cases to tax authorities.
The Seoul government has imposed tightened rules on home mortgages for multiple home owners to calm housing prices in Seoul, which have risen sharply in recent years.
The total market value of apartments in Seoul increased nearly 100 trillion won (US$92.9 billion) last year to more than 860 trillion won.
The price hike came as people borrowed money to buy apartments on the expectation that housing prices would continue to rise further.
The trend pushed South Korea’s household debt to more than 1,400 trillion won last year, which in turn has prompted the government to tighten mortgage rules for owners of multiple homes to keep mounting household debt from harming the economy going forward.