January 18, 2021 08:35
One-quarter of new apartment owners in Seoul's eye-wateringly expensive Gangnam area have their registered residence outside Seoul, which suggests they are either speculators or absentee landlords or both.
The government has rolled out an endless string of draconian measures to curb real-estate speculation, but the rich seem unfazed.
In the Gangnam, Seocho and Songpa districts in southern Seoul that make up greater Gangnam, it has become practically impossible to get a home loan and property taxes are sky-high. But demand has actually increased.
Flush with cash due to rising property values in areas outside of Seoul, more and more people in the provinces seem to be buying themselves a nest egg in the capital.
Real-estate information provider 10,000-Lab analyzed apartment purchase data from the Korea Real Estate Board and found that 25.6 percent of apartments that were bought in Gangnam from January to November last year were purchased by people who live outside Seoul.
That was the highest proportion on record of non-Seoul residents buying apartments there. Despite the government curbs, the proportion has been rising steadily, from 18.8 percent in 2016 to 24 percent in 2019. Paradoxically, the curbs only seem to have consolidated the belief that properties in Seoul will rise even further in value.
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