Housing Dynamics in Korea

Building Inclusive and Smart Cities

image of Housing Dynamics in Korea

Housing in Korea has been part of the government policy development agenda for the past three decades contributing to reducing the historical housing shortage and improving the quality of dwellings. Despite its achievements, Korea now faces a housing affordability challenge as prices are too high for several social groups (i.e. newly wedded), owner occupancy levels are decreasing, and social housing is struggling to meet demand. Korea has a complex social housing system largely focused on low-income households, who still suffer from housing poverty in terms of housing stability, affordability and quality.

A holistic view on housing policy to promote a more inclusive society and sustainable economic growth is needed. To overcome the current housing challenge requires expanding the network of public housing providers by including the private and community sectors that could alleviate the government’s financial burden. Korea is linking housing and urban regeneration strategies to respond to the complex challenges of social inclusion, job creation, housing and economic revitalisation. Korea has been at the forefront of smart city development for more than a decade, which has brought benefits to Korean cities such as integrated transport systems, and it is now committed to applying the concept as a vehicle for inclusive growth.



The state of housing in Korea

This chapter presents an overview of the state of housing in Korea, looking first at the historical evolution of housing policy stressing both the shift from a quantitative to a qualitative approach and how the housing stock gap has been bridged. It discusses housing tenure distribution emphasising how while homeownership is the main tenure type, the rental market is beginning to change. The chapter also describes housing conditions and subsequent improvements following the introduction of minimal standards. It discusses the housing affordability problem, particularly in urban areas. The chapter also examines housing equity considering issues such as income and housing tenure. Finally, it explores housing from a regional perspective highlighting how socio-economic and demographic factors specific to a region may determine housing conditions.


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