SEOUL, Feb. 8 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s finance minister instructed his officials Monday to spare no effort to thoroughly implement the government’s latest massive housing supply plan in a bid to stabilize rising home prices.

The government said last week it will ease construction regulations and support redevelopment projects in urban areas to increase the number of new homes by up to 836,000 nationwide in the next four years.

“Now the key to stabilizing the housing market is to thoroughly implement the latest housing supply plan,” Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said in a message to senior ministry officials.

Hong also called on officials to sternly deal with speculative demand and illegal activity in the housing market, stressing that the government has a strong commitment to curbing runaway home prices.

The latest housing policy centers on expanding home supply in the greater Seoul area and other major cities in what could be a shift from its focus on imposing tougher regulations, including lending curbs.

Soaring housing prices have shown no signs of a letup despite the government’s efforts to cool down the heated housing market. Prices for home rentals have also shot up in recent months due largely to a supply shortage.

This photo, taken on Feb. 4, 2021, shows signs for selling houses and home lease deals that were put up at a realtor’s office in Seoul. (Yonhap)