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Korea’s sky-high house prices fall on Moon

With the Covid-19 pandemic falling off front pages and amid raging floods from the monsoon downpour a frenzied debate is roiling South Korea’s chattering classes.

The discussion in coffee shops, editorial offices and ivory towers is over the rising prices of homes – most specifically Seoul apartments, the aspirational dwelling of choice for the South Korean bourgeoisie.

In the first mass resignation since Moon Jae-in became president in 2017, his chief of staff Noh Young-min and five senior secretaries offered to resign on August 7, to take responsibility for “recent situations.”

Media speculation has it that an ongoing brouhaha over real estate is the “recent situation” behind the carnage. The resignees declined to say if that were the case.  

The resignations follow a spate of public criticism of senior government officials, including Noh, for owning multiple homes at a time when government policy is to contain, not profit from, soaring house prices.