Korea Unveils $7 Billion in Financing to Help Property Market

(Bloomberg) — South Korea rolled out fresh measures to help its struggling real estate market, after a decline in home prices worsened recently.

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The government will have state-owned enterprises guarantee additional project financings of 10 trillion won ($7.3 billion) “to curb excessive contraction of housing projects,” according to a joint statement from several ministries on Thursday.

That adds to 10 trillion won of similar guarantees already unveiled in October as part of a broader 50 trillion won aid package for the nation’s crisis-stricken credit market.

The nation’s housing market has continued dropping in recent weeks after the worst monthly decline since the global financial crisis in August, as the central bank along with others globally raises interest rates to fight inflation. That’s fed into one of the worst routs ever in the local credit market.

One trigger was a default in late September on a project finance asset-backed commercial paper by the developer of the Legoland Korea theme park in Gangwon province to the northeast of Seoul. Since then, commercial paper yields have continued to rise to levels not seen since the global financial crisis.

While a partial decrease in housing prices, which had risen excessively in the past, is inevitable, the government should be vigilant about the possibility of a sharp cooling in the market combined with the recent steep interest rate hikes, Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho said in the statement.

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