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Government Pushing for Disclosure of Real Estate Transaction Data

Government Pushing for Disclosure of Real Estate Transaction Data

Posted July. 07, 2005 02:29,   


The government announced on July 6 that it would push ahead with a measure which requires disclosure of analysis data related to ownership and transaction of real estate.

Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan said in meeting on assessing the economy and the people’s livelihoods held on the morning that day at the Central Government Complex in Sejongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul, “People will be very surprised if they learn about the state of real estate ownership and who makes decisions on real estate transactions,” adding, “We should be transparent and stick to principles.”

The prime minister described real estate speculation as “a social crime, if not a violation of law” and pointed out, “What we need most is a moral standard on what is intolerable any longer.” He also said, “Real estate speculation is the worst of economic activity, since it is a game of capital on other people’s necessities of life.”

The prime minister’s remark on publicizing data on the state of real estate ownership and transactions is interpreted as an intention to form public opinion in the run-up to the announcement of a comprehensive real estate measure scheduled for August. Analysts say that the calculation is that it would be easier to draw up strong measures through forming favorable public opinion if the government unveils shocking information on real estate transactions and concentration.

Under the circumstances, there is keen attention to what kind of data on real estate ownership and transaction the government is planning to disclose and if the data is about particular individuals.

An official at the Ministry of Finance and Economy said, “I understand that there is a considerable volume of accumulated data on the state of real estate,” adding, “There are some data that we used as a policy tool, without disclosing. Also, there are other data in the Office of National Tax Administration or the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs which have yet to be connected with each other.” Prime Minister did not elaborate on how the government would unveil which data.

Kim Chang-ho, head of the Government Information Agency, explained, “We do not intend to publicize personal information of those who own and are engaged in transactions of housing,” adding, “We aim to introduce statistical data by analyzing some trends or forms.” He cited the proportion of owners of three or more homes among those who recently sold or bought homes in Gangnam area, Seoul, as an example of such statistics.

Cho Won-dong, the head of the Economy Policy Bureau of the Finance Ministry said, “Law prohibits disclosure of information on individual ownership of real estate.” He also added, “I understand that the government’s intention is not to disclose personal information but to publicize something statistically meaningful and worth opening to public debate, out of accumulated data.”

Kang-Myoung Chang tesomiom@donga.com