(Re-posted from The Guardian, one of the UK’s top national newspapers and the world’s third most-read newspaper website)
Imagine a world where a £100,000 deposit for a small flat is cheap; where having 60% of the value of your next home means you haven’t saved enough and you’re running short of time because your tenancy (yes, that the huge deposit was only key money) will be over in two years. Welcome to jeonse and the Korean housing market.
And it is a strange market to British eyes. Homeownership is not popular. Unlike booming Hong Kong or Singapore, home prices fell about 8% last year. Rather than buy a depreciating asset, the middle classes look to rent. The only problem is that the sums no longer add up for the majority of landlords either….