Record Sales of Small Apartments in Seoul

  • By Jang Sang-jhin

    August 09, 2016 10:41

    Small apartments are selling at record rates in Seoul, while buyers shun the larger family apartments that used to define the middle class, as prices skyrocket.

    Of 15,980 apartments sold in Seoul from January until last Thursday, apartments of less than 60 sq.m accounted for 45.1 percent, the biggest proportion since 2000, property information service Real Estate 114 said Monday.

    Apartments over 85 sq.m took up a mere 8.5 percent or 1,353, a record low. In 2000, larger apartments accounted for 31.6 percent in Seoul, compared to 26.1 percent for small apartments.

    Nationwide, bigger apartments are also becoming unaffordable to most, taking up only 8.1 percent of the 237,755 apartments sold across the country this year.

    In Daejeon no big ones were sold at all this year, and in Gangwon (0.1 percent) and South Chungcheong provinces (1 percent) and Ulsan (1.5 percent) they made up a tiny fraction. Instead small and midsize apartments between 61 and 85 sq.m accounted for as much as 62.8 percent.

    "Back in the early 2000s, many people preferred apartments over 85 sq.m," said Park Won-kap of KB Kookmin Bank. "Back then, apartment builders were worried that small apartments just wouldn't sell, and in some areas they made big money from complexes that only consisted of large units."

    Lee Mi-yoon at Real Estate 114 said the trend is mainly due to the growing number of single or two-person households and better layouts in smaller units.

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