Homeowners More Likely to Get Married: Study | Be Korea-savvy

Homeowners More Likely to Get Married: Study

This photo taken July 28, 2020, shows apartment complexes in southern Seoul. (Yonhap)

This photo taken July 28, 2020, shows apartment complexes in southern Seoul. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, Oct. 22 (Korea Bizwire)Those who pay monthly rent for housing are less likely to get married than those who own their own home, a recent study revealed.

The Korea Economic Research Institute (KERI) released a report Wednesday that analyzed the correlation between factors related to housing and marriage or birth based on the most recent data provided by the Korean Labor & Income Panel Study.

The report showed that compared to those who own a home, people leasing their homes on a two-year jeonse contract were 23.4 percent less likely to get married, while those paying monthly rent were 65.1 percent less likely to do so.

Jeonse refers to a unique Korean system in which renters give landlords a large returnable deposit instead of paying monthly rent.

It usually consists of a two-year contract, with the homeowner paying back the principal upon the completion of the contract.

The report also showed that housing influences a couple’s decision to have children.

Those leasing a home on a jeonse contract were 28.9 percent less likely to have children compared to those who owned their own home.

Couples paying monthly rent, in contrast, were 55.7 percent less likely to have children.

While housing influenced the decision to have a first child, it did not demonstrate any meaningful correlation with giving birth to a second child, except for the fact that higher household income increases the chance that a couple will choose to have a second child.

Since housing impacts marriage and birth, issues of real estate should be dealt with carefully in order to better address the pervasive social issues of a low birth rate and a dwindling population.

The report also argued that recent government intervention in the real estate market has further exacerbated real estate problems surrounding leases on jeonse contracts, driving homes with monthly leases to proportionally surpass those on a jeonse contract.

“A last-minute transition from lease on a jeonse contract to monthly rent weighs heavily on tenants, negatively impacting the productive population,” said Yoo Jin-seong, a researcher at KERI.

“Real estate restrictions should be lifted, and the supply of housing needs to increase in order to reduce cool the market and increase access to affordable housing.”

H. M. Kang (hmkang@koreabizwire.com)

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