Eumhouse, an estate agency in Seoul's wealthy Gangnam district, has seen a recent uptick in inquiries after two years of slow business in a stagnant property market.
This trend could be read as a positive response to the new government's measures to boost the economy – a program that the central bank aimed to support on Thursday with its first rate cut for seven months.
But Yoon Sunghoon, owner of Eumhouse, remains downbeat on the outlook for the property market. "The number of transactions is little changed despite the recent tax breaks for home purchases, because people don't expect house prices to go up," he said. "People ask: why should I buy an apartment when no one else does?"
Equity investors took a more bullish view following the Bank of Korea's decision to cut the base rate by 25 basis points to 2.5 percent. The Kospi index rose 1.2 percent, but this figure was far outstripped by the surge in construction stocks: GS Engineering and Construction rose 6.8 percent, while Daelim Engineering & Construction jumped 6.47 percent.
The share price movements reflect an improving mood towards the property sector, which has a crucial influence on consumer confidence and spending in South Korea, where three quarters of household wealth is held in real estate.
Apartment prices in Seoul have fallen by 8.3 percent over the past two years, according to KB Financial Group, as buyers reacted to weaker economic growth and a glut in the market following extensive residential construction in previous years.
President Park Geun-hye, who took office in February, has put measures to support the ailing property market at the heart of her domestic economic policy – despite concerns that a bounce in homebuying could further increase a household debt pile that is already among the world's highest.