Business sentiment in the housing sector in South Korea remained in the doldrums amid tough government regulations and supply glut, data showed.
The Housing Business Survey Index (HSBI) for May compiled by the Korea Housing Institute on a poll of 500 members of the Korea Housing Association and Korea Housing Builders Association stood at 72.1, far below the confidence threshold of 100.
A reading above 100 means that optimists outnumber pessimists, and a reading below 100 the opposite.
The figure plunged by 24.6 percentage points from the same month last year to the lowest reading for May since the data has been kept record. It was up 9.4 percentage points from April when it plunged 28.8 points from the previous month.
Downturn is hardly surprising as government clampdown on real estate speculation came amid supply glut and sluggish economy.
The figure gained a bit amid slight recovery of housing business in Seoul and infrastructure projects in rural areas, but the reading below 100 indicates there are still more constructors who predict the industry would remain sluggish, according to a researcher from the Construction Economy Research Institute of Korea.
By Park In-hye and Choi Mira
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