SEJONG, Feb. 14 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea’s home sales plunged 21.4 percent last month from a year earlier due mainly to a base effect stemming from rapid growth posted last year, government data showed Sunday.
The number of home transactions reached 62,365 in January compared with a record 79,320 tallied a year ago, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
The January figure also marked a 29 percent drop from the previous month’s 87.871.
“The on-year decline is caused by the record-breaking performance in the same month last year,” said the ministry. “Compared with a five-year average of 52,791, it rose 18.1 percent.”
The country’s real estate market has been on a roll throughout last year on the back of a series of government measures to revitalize the property market and the entire economy.
It has lifted reconstruction regulations and eased other financial hurdles to let people easily borrow money and buy or rent houses, while the central bank cut the base rate to a record low of 1.5 percent.
As a result, home transactions hit an all-time high in 2015, surging 18.8 percent on-year to 1,193,691 last year.
In January, home transactions in Seoul and its surrounding areas posted negative figures, dropping 13.4 percent on-year to 29,705.
In rural areas, the figure stood at 32,660 last month, down 2.4 percent from a year earlier.’