* S.Korea may impose taxes as previous measures fail to calm Seoul home prices -fin min
* Gangnam average home prices up nearly 11 pct in Dec y/y (Adds average home prices in Gangnam and S.Korea as a whole)
SEOUL, Jan 26 (Reuters) - South Korea’s finance minister said on Friday the government may consider slapping tougher taxes on property ownership after a string of measures to rein in speculators failed to calm surging prices in wealthy parts of Seoul.
Questioned by reporters at a seminar in Seoul, Kim Dong-yeon said the government will mull strengthening property ownership taxes after public opinions are collected on the proposal.
“A considerable part of the (rise) in Gangnam home prices seems to be based on speculative demand,” Kim said, referring to the wealthy Seoul district.
Kim’s comment comes as political pressure mounts to raise levies on property ownership amid worries speculative demand in main regions of the country are stoking a bubble and encouraging binge borrowing.
Seoul home prices continued to rise through fresh mortgage curbs announced in October last year, which includes tightened loan limits for owners of multiple homes.
Average home prices in the exclusive southern Seoul neighbourhood of Gangnam in particular have risen sharply, up nearly 11 percent in December from a year earlier to 661.5 million won ($621,185.09), data from KB Kookmin Bank showed. That compares with the average national home price of 334.4 million won, up 5.2 percent over the same period.
Last week, home prices in Seoul rose 0.3 percent from the week before, far outpacing moves in national prices, the KB Kookmin Bank data showed.
In South Korea, taxes on property transactions, such as capital gains taxes, are much higher than taxes on property ownership. ($1 = 1,064.9000 won) (Reporting by Shin-hyung Lee, Cynthia Kim, Dahee Kim; Editing by Sam Holmes)