Identifying and comparing vacant housing determinants across South Korean cities

Yunmi Park, Galen D. Newman, Jung Eun Lee, Sukjin Lee

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13 Scopus citations


Excessive vacant housing (VH) has been often linked to negative externalities (e.g., crime, arson, property devaluation, or disconnected neighborhoods). As a result, governments and communities invest many resources toward limiting amounts of VH. While the VH literature has increased, VH studies are relatively new in South Korea. In this regard, this study explores the spatial discrepancy and determinants of VH across 141 cities in South Korea by using cluster analysis and quantile regression. The empirical analyses suggest that municipalities experiencing aging, fewer manufacturing jobs, sprawled old and small housing stock, new housing supply, and higher taxes may be more at risk for future increases in VH ratios. The impacts of these factors were not significant across the municipalities with different levels of VH. The aging population is the most powerful explanatory variable, in general, and is the only influential factor that explains the cities with excessive VH ratio. The outcomes suggest that the policy interventions should vary depending on the level of VH and the location and size of the city their related determinants. Further, VH inventory and demographic change monitorization, provisions for encouraging more youthful residents, and readjustment of space and economic structure are also necessary to combat excessive VH.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102566
JournalApplied Geography
StatePublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Abandoned properties
  • Aging
  • Depopulation
  • Shrinking cities
  • South Korea
  • Urban vacancy
  • Vacant housing units


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