| Foreigners Are Top Clients for Yongsan Apartment Rentals
| Writer : admin1
Date : 16-06-20 14:45
Hit : 1145
Foreigners used to avoid the apartment complexes in major Korean cities due to
their generic and often claustrophobic character, but now they are among the
most enthusiastic clients for apartment rentals in the capital.
"When I first came to Seoul, it was strange that there are so many apartments
that looked identical, but once I started living there I realized they're quite nice,"
said one foreigner. "They have security guards, so it's safe, and the utility bill is affordable."
Until the 1990s, foreigners were usually averse to living in apartments, opting
instead for houses with yards, town houses or low-rise housing units.
But now Yongsan has the biggest number of foreign residents among the housing complexes in Seoul. Furnished, high-rise apartments such as City Park, Park-
Tower and Xi in Samgakji, which cost between W1 billion to W2 billion per unit,
have emerged as popular options for foreigners looking for rental housing (US$1=W1,123).
They pay W5 million a month plus utilities for units measuring 150 sq.m or more.
They are usually high-ranking U.S. military personnel or executives of foreign companies. "Out of the total 888 units, around 300 foreigners live there," said one
estate agent in the Park Tower complex. "For most foreigners, the military or their company pays for the rent, so they don't care about the high rent."
At the City Park complex just next door, around 200 out of the total 630 units are occupied by foreign residents.
Wealthy foreigners in Yongsan traditionally favored the UN Village neighborhood
in Hannam-dong. But more and more are moving to the new, high-rise complexes
due to their proximity to subway stations and other conveniences such as in-house fitness and shopping centers. An estate agent in Samgakji said, "Landlords prefer foreigners, who can pay millions of won a month in rent, to Koreans who want
a two to three year-lease contract with a lump-sum deposit."
There are far more foreigners living in Yongdeungpo (36,000), Guro (27,000) and Geumcheon (18,000) than in Yongsan (12,400), but most are Chinese and
Southeast Asians whose incomes tend to be lower. As a result, they prefer
basement flats or other small units. "Most of the foreigners in Yongsan come from countries like the U.S. and Japan and are high-income earners, so they are drawn
to high-end apartments," said a realtor at Real Estate 114.
Experts say letting apartments to foreigners requires particular attention on the
part of the landlord due to the cultural differences. Foreigners prefer large living
rooms and kitchens rather than large bedrooms. "In terms of earning income from
rent, it may be better to find a foreign tenant, but you need to be aware of certain cultural differences that need to be addressed by the landlord," an estate agent
in Hannam-dong said.
The source by the Chosun Ilbo