An average household in South Korea had net assets worth 410 million won ($347,183) last year, with greater share of real estate properties under protracted low-interest environment, , government data showed Wednesday.
According to preliminary Korean National Balance Sheets for 2018 released jointly by the Bank of Korea and Statistics Korea on Wednesday, total value of national wealth, or net worth of total economy, amounted to 15,511.7 trillion won as of end of last year, up 8.2 percent from a year ago. The value of national wealth was 8.2 times higher than the country’s nominal gross domestic product (GDP) for 2018, compared with 7.8 times in 2017.
The BOK said that the increase in the value of total wealth versus GDP comes on the rise in net external assets last year and in the value of non-produced assets such as land.
In fact, the value of land and buildings jumped 7.6 percent and 8.2 percent, respectively, last year, data showed. Also, land accounted for 54.6 percent of total value of non-financial assets last year, and buildings 21.4 percent, both 0.3 percentage points higher than the previous year.
An unnamed BOK official said that overall asset value of land with buildings rose across the country last year with many housing development projects involving new towns and innovation cities.
Data also showed that net asset per household averaged 415.96 million won last year, up 16.64 million won from the previous year.
By purchasing power parity (PPP), net assets of an average household in Korea was $483,000 –lower than that of the U.S. ($723,000), Australia ($718,000), and Japan ($524,000) based on 2017 figures.
Net assets of Korean households, meanwhile, were highly dependent on real estate assets compared to other countries. Non-financial assets accounted for 77.8 percent of total net worth held by households and non-profit institutions in Korea last year, higher than that of Australia with 73.7 percent, France with 66.8 percent, the United Kingdom with 55 percent, Canada with 53.6 percent, and Japan with 42.6 percent.
By Kim Yeon-joo and Lee Eun-joo
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