According to the Bank of Korea, property accounted for 76 percent of an average household’s estimated assets of 463 million won in 2019.
Many young people seem to have given up on the idea of ever owning a home of their own and have rather started to view “home” as a temporary shelter for a reasonable cost. Unlike the established generation who tie their lifetime achievements to owning a permanent home, the younger generations opt to satisfy themselves through gourmet foods, luxury clothing and other small gratifications which are comparatively cheaper than home ownership. A recent poll shows that over 60 percent of people in their 20s and 30s said that owning a home is unnecessary.
Recently, Seoul City announced a redevelopment plan for Baeksa Village, a small cluster of ramshackle homes located on the hillside of Mount Buram in northern Seoul. Baeksa Village is one of Seoul’s last remaining “moon villages,” a term for refugee settlements built high up on mountain slopes. The inhabitants were forcefully evicted from more central areas in the 1960s and relocated to the village.
Korea Times photos by Shim Hyun-chul/ Choi Won-suk