Protracted Pandemic Empties Commercial Districts in Seoul

  • By Lee Mi-ji

    January 06, 2022 08:42

    One out of every 10 store spaces in Seoul stands empty as few people visit restaurants and shops in lockdown.

    According to the Korea Real Estate Board, the vacancy rate for mid-to-large-sized store spaces in Seoul stood at 9.7 percent in the third quarter of 2021, the highest ever.

    The figure rose to 17.4 percent in central Jongno and Gwanghwamun in downtown Seoul, and to 47.2 percent in Myeong-dong, which has been hit hard by a sharp drop in the number of tourists.

    KB Kookmin Bank said, "Since the coronavirus pandemic began, vacancies in Seoul's major commercial districts have surged."

    Demand for office space, on the other hand, has increased, pushing up rents in large commercial buildings in the capital.

    Some 35 large office buildings were rented during the first three quarters of 2021, the highest level since 2000.

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