SEOUL, Feb 13 (Reuters) - South Korean banks' lending to households fell by a net 3.5 trillion won ($3.2 billion) in January, the biggest fall since records were first made public in 2004 as tax cuts on real estate trade expired, central bank data showed on Wednesday.
It was a steep fall from a net 4.9 trillion won rise in December, which was the biggest increase since December 2006, as South Koreans rushed to take advantage of tax cuts before they expired at the end of 2012.
The South Korean real estate market has been sluggish since mid-2012, with monthly housing prices in January falling for a seventh consecutive month, prompting the government to take measures such as tax cuts to breathe life into the market.
Meanwhile, separate data from the Bank of Korea showed South Korea's broadest measure of money supply growth ticked up in December last year from November on increased deposits into savings accounts.
The L-money supply measure, which includes cash, all types of deposits at financial institutions and all money market instruments issued, rose 8.0 percent in December from a year earlier, up from a revised 7.9 percent in November, the data showed.
The central bank said it revised its L-money supply numbers for the first time since the data set was composed in 2006 to improve accuracy.
($1 = 1090.7250 Korean won)
(Reporting by Christine Kim; Editing by Eric Meijer) Keywords: KOREA ECONOMY/MONEYSUPPLY
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