UPDATE 1-S.Korea to convert golf courses, military sites into residential apartments to supply new homes

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SEOUL, Aug 4 (Reuters) - South Korea on Tuesday said it will supply more than 132,000 new homes in Seoul through 2028 by easing building height limits and converting military sites and other state-owned properties into residential areas.

The 23rd measure by Moon Jae-in administration to cool soaring home prices in Seoul and the metropolitan region comes as both sales and rent prices surge despite tighter mortgage curbs and heavier real estate taxes.

Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said state-owned Taereung golf course, military base Camp Kim in central Seoul as well as a driving test center in western Seoul would be converted into residential developments.

Limits on building heights will be relaxed to encourage rebuilding of old apartments in central Seoul.

“Stabilizing the real estate market is the biggest policy goal for public welfare and our utmost priority,” Hong said in a briefing. “(Tuesday’s measures) hopefully serves as a strong signal on new home supply.”

Home prices in Seoul have risen 44% during the last three years, the fastest pace in the world, according to statistics site Numbeo. (Reporting by Cynthia Kim; Editing by Sandra Maler and Gerry Doyle)