Newlyweds buy properties more, and borrow

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Newlyweds buy properties more, and borrow

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Newlyweds are leveraging up to buy property, driven by the fear of missing out and helping to push up prices that the government is desperately trying to cap.

According to Statistics Korea on Thursday, 461,000 newly married couples purchased real estate in 2018 out of 1.05 million new couples that year. The 43.8 percent rate is up 0.2 percentage points on year.

Among those purchasing a property, 385,262 couples, or 36.6 percent, bought just one. That’s 0.2 percentage points higher than in 2017. A total of 5.9 percent have two properties, up from 5.8 percent from a year earlier.

Newlyweds owning more than three units dipped, from 1.4 percent in 2017 to 1.3 percent.

The most popular property for newlyweds were those valued between 150 million won ($126,200) and 300 million won, at 36.6 percent of the total. The second-most popular were those valued between 60 and 150 million won, at 34.5 percent of the total.

The biggest increase was in high-end real estate.

The study has found that 21,875 couples owned property valued at more than 600 million won, which is 4.7 percent of all couples. That’s up from 16,592 couples in 2017.

Additionally, 73,091 couples bought property valued between 300 and 599 million won, accounting for 15.8 percent of the total newlyweds in 2018. The year earlier, it was 65,959 couples, or 13.7 percent.

The most popular form of housing was an apartment, with 67.6 percent of the newlyweds living in apartments, while 15.2 percent moved into standalone houses.

The study also found that borrowings by newlyweds are up. A total of 85.1 percent of newlyweds took out loans from financial institutions, up 1.7 percentage points on year.

The total does not include money borrowed from loan sharks.

Of the newlyweds, 30.2 percent borrowed between 100 and 200 million won, while 12.2 percent borrowed 70 to 100 million, and 11.7 percent borrowed 10 to 30 million won.

Loans taken by double-income newlywed couples were larger than those of single-income newlywed couples, at 116 million won compared to 91.4 million won.

Of the couples in the survey, both individuals worked in 47.5 percent of the cases. That’s an increase from 44.9 percent of the newlyweds with double income in 2017.

The average annual income of double-income couples was 73.6 million won, while for single-income couples it was 42.4 million won.

Seoul housing prices in 2018 rose 6.2 percent compared to the previous year. That’s faster than the 3.6 percent the previous year.

The study has found that the percentage of couples without children is growing as well.

BY LEE HO-JEONG [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr]

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