In recent years, many cities in developed countries have struggled with housing vacancy. Empty homes are accompanied by social problems such as vandalism, arson, unsanitary environments, and collapse risk. Vacant houses also have negative effects on the value of nearby properties and their local communities. Accordingly, there have been various policy responses to tackle this problem. In spite of these efforts, however, the number of vacant houses continues to increase alongside a population decrease and imprudent developments. In South Korea, the number of vacant houses has increased since the 1990s, and central and local governments started developing plans and policies to resolve the problem from 2010. However, most of these policies have many similarities regardless of their differing regional conditions and contexts. Housing vacancy varies according to regions, its magnitude, surrounding environments or housing types, and thus calls for multilateral approaches. This article, therefore, aims to identify distributional characteristics of vacant houses in South Korea, and categorize them into three groups with regional contexts using cluster analysis. The study further found that there are differences in affecting factors of vacant houses by type through the use of a multiple regression model. Based on the analysis, the ways of managing housing vacancy for sustainable development are discussed.
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