S.Korean steps to boost housing market due Sunday

SEOUL Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:04am EDT

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SEOUL Aug 26 (Reuters) - South Korea plans on Sunday to announce measures to boost the housing market, and sources suggested the government will probably ease mortgage lending regulations slightly.

A spokesman at the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs said on Thursday that the government would announce the measures on Sunday.

Late last month, the government put on hold its planned announcement of property market support measures after policymakers failed to reach an agreement on whether and how drastically to ease mortgage lending restrictions. [ID:nTOE66K05M]

Sources have said the government may slightly ease restrictions on the amount of mortgage loans that each home buyer can draw from lenders, but any easing will most likely carry complicated conditions or apply to a limited number of cities.

The government imposed lending restrictions in September last year, capping the amount of a borrower's annual income that could be spent servicing debt. That limit was set at 50 percent for mortgages in the capital Seoul and 60 percent in nearby areas. [ID:nSEO324778]

Housing prices across the country reversed a 15-month gaining streak by falling 0.1 percent in July from the previous month, with prices in Seoul leading the way. [ID:nTOE67204Q] (Reporting by Yoo Choonsik; Editing by Ken Wills)

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