By Sohn Dong-woo and Lee Eun-joo
Apartment prices in Seoul, the capital city of South Korea, rose at the fastest rate in June despite a slew of government measures to stabilize the city’s property market.
According to data from Korea Appraisal Board (KAB) on Tuesday, Seoul’s apartment price index reached 188.1 in June, the highest since the appraisal and assessment institution began compiling related data in January 2006.
The KAB’s housing price index captures the change in apartment prices from a 100 base set in January 2006 by using sales data collected on registered transactions. Numbers above 100 suggest an increase in actual transaction price of apartments and vice versa for below 100.
Seoul’s apartment price index has increased steadily this year from 178.4 in January, 181.1 in February, 183.1 in March, 185.5 in April, 186.3 in May, and 188.1 in June. By area, the index for Seoul’s northeast (Seongdong, Gwangjin, Dongdaemun, Jungnang, Seongbuk, Gangbuk, Dobong, and Nowon) hit the highest 199.4, followed by 198.2 for Seoul’s northwest (Eunpyeong, Seodaemun, and Mapo), 197.8 for downtown Seoul (Jongno, Jung, and Yongsan districts), 190.7 for southwest (Yangcheon, Gangseo, Guro, Gumcheon, Yeongdeungpo, Dongjak, and Gwanak), and 181.7 for southeast (Gangnam, Seocho, Songpa, and Gangdong). The latest data indicated that the housing price growth was steepest in Seoul’s northeast area in June.
Data from Korea Appraisal Board also showed that apartment prices in Seoul gained 1 percent in June from the previous month. By area, the largest monthly gain in apartment prices was observed in downtown Seoul, soaring 2.5 percent, followed by southwest (1.3 percent), southeast (1.0 percent), northeast (0.8 percent), and northwest (0.2 percent).
The index continued to rise even between April and June this year when apartment transactions in Seoul dropped after the government’s housing-market stabilization measures introduced in Aug. 2, last year started to be implemented.
This suggests that the growth in apartment prices in Seoul would have accelerated further in July when apartment transactions picked up. As the capital city’s property market showed signs of overheating in August and September, the government this month introduced tougher regulatory actions proposing to double taxes on owners of two or more homes in hot zones to rein in runaway housing prices in the capital city.