The total price tag of real estate in the affluent Gangnam district in southern Seoul amounts to W152 trillion, which is more than the entire real estate in Busan (US$1=W1,136). The difference between the price of real estate in the Seoul metropolitan area and outside it rose 10-fold over the last decade, from W120 trillion in 2001 to W1,200 trillion.
According to 2001 to 2011 data on the appraised value of land submitted on Sunday to Grand National Party lawmaker Ahn Hong-joon by the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, the total value of real estate in Gangnam was W152 trillion as of Jan. 1 this year, the most out of 251 administrative units nationwide.
And although it measures only 5 percent of the total area of Busan, the value of real estate in Gangnam is more than the W151 trillion for the entire real estate in the southern port city. Real estate in Gangnam was worth 508 times more than Ulleung in North Gyeongsang Province, which had the lowest value at W300 billion.
The total value of real estate in the three most affluent districts in southern Seoul -- Gangnam, Seocho and Songpa -- is W365 trillion, accounting for a whopping 10 percent of the total value of real estate in Korea.
"The three districts in southern Seoul account for just 0.1 percent of the total land area of Korea, but the value of real estate in those areas is 10 percent of the total value of real estate in the country, showing just how high land prices there are," Ahn said.
The gap between real estate prices in and outside the capital region continues to widen. The total value of property in regions outside of Seoul amounted to W1,174 trillion this year, almost a 100 percent increase compared to 2001 (W595 trillion). But over the same period, prices in Seoul rose W711.24 trillion, a 230 percent jump.
Kim Sun-deok of Construction Industry Strategy Research said, "Population, businesses and various development projects which determine real estate prices are concentrating in Seoul, and this has created a gap in competitiveness directly reflected in real estate prices."
Seoul is home to the most expensive real estate in the country. Jung district in central Seoul is the most expensive, followed by Gangnam, Yongsan, Seocho and Songpa. The trendy shopping district of Myeong-dong has the single most expensive property in the country, unchanged over the last decade.