SEOUL, June 9 (Korea Bizwire) – Almost half of Seoulites in their 30s live in rented housing, leaving them with the heaviest rent burden among all age groups in the city.
The surprising findings of the 2017 Seoul Survey – an urban planning indicator survey – revealed the growing number of single and two-person households is setting new living trends amid the sluggish economy and predictions for long-term interest rates, particularly among those in their 30s, an age group in which over four in ten people are renters.
The figure of people from all age groups living in rented accommodation in Seoul stood at 31.3 percent, the first time the figure surpassed 26.2 percent since records began at the Seoul Metropolitan Government in 2003.
While the number of homeowners in the city has continued to stay within a range of 40 to 45 percent over the last ten years, the rising number of renting households is reshaping the landscape of the South Korean housing market, particularly among those in their 30s, where the number of renters jumped by 4.1 percent compared to the previous year.
With the number of renters more than doubling since 2005, the burden of housing costs borne by those in their 30s is getting heavier by the year, the survey showed.
The issue of housing polarization has also worsened.
With the growing price of jeonse – a type of lease in South Korea in which a lump-sum deposit equivalent to 50 percent to 80 percent of the market value is paid to the landlord instead of monthly rent – the number of homeowners in their 30s more than doubled last year compared to 2015.
While the prospect of home ownership faded for many, others made a bold decision to jump into the housing market with the help of a housing loan with a low interest rate.
Over half of the households in Seoul consisted of only one or two members, accounting for 54.8 percent.
Among single households, those aged between 25 and 34 accounted for 29 percent.
When it came to the ideal type of housing, apartments were most popular in the South Korean capital due to high house prices, accounting for 61.1 percent, while 24.2 percent of the respondents preferred to live in a detached house.
This year’s Seoul survey was conducted last October with a sample of 20,000 households and 2,500 foreign residents in Seoul.