Koreans Snap Up U.S. Real Estate

Koreans were the second most enthusiastic Asian buyers of U.S. real estate after Singaporeans in the first half of this year, ahead of the mainland Chinese.

The combined real estate investments of Koreans, Chinese and Singaporeans amounted to US$5.2 billion from January to mid-June, an all-time high, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday quoting figures from research firm Real Capital Analytics.

Koreans invested $1.83 billion in U.S. properties during this period, overtaking the Chinese ($1.52 billion). Singaporeans spent the most with $1.87 billion.

Asian investors bought mainly resorts or commercial real estate in Hawaii, high-risers in Chicago and condos in New York, the daily reported.

The main reason is the aging population in the three Asian countries, with pension funds investing in overseas markets like the U.S. to boost returns.

Korea's National Pension Service is reported to be eyeing at least $100 million worth of hotels and shopping malls in New York as well as other buildings.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jun. 28, 2013 11:23 KST