[EDITORIALS]Voice truth on housingThe government said it plans to expand supply of medium and large rental apartment units for middle-class families. The government also said the nation’s real estate markets are stabilizing, helped by its Aug. 31 measures. If the government was speaking the truth, Koreans would have no concerns about real estate problems, home prices would be stabilized and families without homes would have only to rent apartments.
But there are already a lot of rental apartments that have not been leased. And it is unclear how many local middle-class families would prefer renting apartments to purchasing condominiums. Though the government is asserting that Koreans should now regard houses as dwellings rather than property, it is doubtful how many civil servants are living in rental apartments in accordance with such a doctrine. The government insists that the increase in home prices, which reached 28.6 percent in the last years of the Kim Dae-jung administration, has slowed to 10.8 percent under the Roh Moo-hyun administration. If this is true, those who have given up purchasing a house as the prices have risen too high must have been from other countries. And, unless home prices had risen sharply, why did the government put so many regulations on real estate trade?
The government should seriously deliberate on measures to solve problems of builders in the provinces who are suffering business difficulties, families having difficulty buying their own house and households with a single home who are concerned about increased tax burdens. If the president continues to incite conflict, making such remarks as “Some newspapers are trying to agitate the government’s real estate policies,” and, “The owners of small houses will lose money if home prices rise,” the condition will deteriorate even further.