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Seoul Mayor Pledges to Lower Home Supply Price

Posted June. 19, 2009 04:56,   


The Seoul Metropolitan Government will seek to cut the supply price of new homes by more than 100 million won (78,900 U.S. dollars) per unit through public engagement in reconstruction, redevelopment and new town projects.

Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon told the Dong-A Ilbo yesterday, “Urban housing projects such as those for redevelopment and new towns were originally the responsibility of government agencies,” adding, “If public agencies are deeply engaged and increase the transparency of such projects, we can lower the supply of new apartments measuring 109 square meters by more than 100 million won a unit.”

Oh gave an interview to the newspaper Sunday and Wednesday ahead of the third anniversary of his inauguration, which falls on July 1.

“Construction companies that have benefited from the conventional system will object to such a measure. But I will push ahead with the policy even at the risk of starting a war with builders to reduce the bubble in housing prices,” he said.

The Seoul city government cited many problems in the redevelopment system, including interference in projects by developers, building dismantlement firms and builders from the zoning and planning phase and frequent collusion between builders and resident cooperatives’ management.

One of the city’s goals is a fundamental solution to the redevelopment system following the deadly February clash in Seoul’s Yongsan district, in which six people were killed after protesting residents who refused to move out of a redevelopment area fought police.

A source at the Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs Ministry said, “We fully agree with the mayor on the overall direction of his plan to root out illegal actions committed in the process of redevelopment and reconstruction projects.”

“Once the city government sets and announces detailed plans and then asks us for support, we will act to revise related laws and regulations by considering equity with other major cities and provinces.”