Seoul Apartment Prices Surge to New Heights

      January 11, 2021 08:39

      Apartment prices in Seoul have surpassed W12 million per sq.m for the first time, surging more than 20 percent over the past year and 74 percent since President Moon Jae-in took office in 2017 (US$1=W1,092).

      The average price per sq.m of an apartment in Seoul stood at W12.21 million, according to KB Kookmin Bank last week.

      Until 2019, apartments in the swish Gangnam, Seocho and Songpa districts and the in-demand areas of Mapo, Yongsan and Seongdong led the increases, but now prices in relatively affordable areas are soaring even higher.

      Prices in Nowon surged 33 percent, in Gangbuk 31.4 percent and in Dobong 28.4 percent, rising at a faster clip than Gangnam (13.6 percent), Seocho (11 percent) and Songpa (16.9 percent).

      Income polarization has become worse due to the coronavirus epidemic, while prices of low to mid-priced apartments have soared, making it increasingly difficult for low-income households to buy their own homes.

      The time it takes for a household in the bottom 20 percent of the wage bracket to buy an apartment soared from 16.5 years in late 2019 to 19 years as of the third quarter of last year.

      More recently, the prices of small starter homes worth less than W100 million have also surged.

      The government last July hiked the acquisition tax to deter speculators but exempted homes costing less than W100 million, causing investors to flock to that range and prices to explode.

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