Newlyweds struggle to buy residences

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Newlyweds struggle to buy residences

Four out of 10 newlywed couples in Korea got through the first five years of marriage without buying a residence, data from Statistics Korea showed Sunday.
 
That's a change from the good old days, when newlyweds were expected to buy property fairly soon -- with plenty of help from parents. 
 
The statistics agency conducted research on 212,000 newlywed couples who registered their marriages between November 2014 and October 2015 and have remained married.  
 
According to the research, 34.4 percent of newlyweds bought homes in the first year of marriage. By the fifth year of marriage, some 53.9 percent were homeowners.  
 
Some 40.7 percent of the couples did not buy homes. Some couples bought residences but later lost possession. 
 
The study suggested that couples that owned their own homes had more chances of having a child by their fifth year of marriage, but only by a little bit.  
 
Nearly 83 percent of the couples that owned houses for four or more years had offspring, compared to 80.7 percent of the couples that did not own homes for five years. By the number of kids, the group that owned houses had on average 1.16 children, while the group without their own homes had on average 1.13 children. 
 
Newlyweds had more chances of owning a house if they were dual-income couples.  
 
Among couples with two incomes over the five years, 62 percent were able to purchase their own houses by their fifth year in marriage. Among newlyweds that were dependent on a sole breadwinner from the beginning, 54.3 percent were able to buy.  
 
Dual-income households, however, had a slightly less chance of having children.
 
While 86.4 percent of couples with sole breadwinners had children by their fifth year in marriage, 82.3 percent of dual-income couples had children during the same period.  
 
Some 51.6 percent of couples were from two-income families in the first year of marriage. That percentage dropped to 43.9 percent by the third year, probably because a wife or husband left a job to take care of a child.
 
The study said that 23 percent of the couples gave birth to a firstborn in the first year of marriage and 32.9 percent in the second year. 
 
BY KIM JEE-HEE   [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]
 
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