Korea Ranks Low in Home Ownership

Korea Ranks Low in Home Ownership

A shortage of affordable housing means that Korea now ranks a distant 33rd in the OECD in terms of home ownership, with some 60 percent owning their own home.

According to a report by the Bank of Korea on Monday, Korea has a home inventory of 412 for every 1,000 people, ranking 27th compared to the OECD average of 462 units, 590 in France, 509 in Germany, 494 in Japan and 425 in the U.S.

The BOK said housing inventory, which counts homes listed for sale, is more accurate in gauging the realistic availability of homes than the housing supply ratio, which is the number of available houses compared with the number of households. This is because of the need to reflect overwhelming demand for new builds and the rapid increase in single households.

For instance, the housing supply ratio was 103.6 percent in 2020, which may have misled the Moon Jae-in government into a series of disastrous housing policies focusing on suppressing multiple home-ownership rather than increasing supply.

The BOK said the home ownership rate in Korea is 60.6 percent, placing the country at 33rd place in the OECD. What stood out was the fact that home ownership is low among mid and low-income households because they cannot afford to buy. It said boosting housing supply would lead to price declines across regions and types of home. 

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