SEOUL, Sept. 10 (Korea Bizwire) – As the number of foreign residents continues to increase rapidly, the housing rental market targeting them is expanding and diversifying.
According to real estate industry watchers, the preferred residential areas for foreigners are expanding from traditionally popular places like Hannam-dong, Itaewon and Yongsan to Mapo in Seoul, Songdo in Incheon and Pyeongtaek in Gyeonggi Province.
Furthermore, the foreign population has surged recently. According to data from the Korean government, as of 2014 a total of 1,741,919 or 3.4 percent of Korea’s total population were foreigners. The number more than tripled since 2006.
As the foreign population is expanding, occupations have diversified from U.S. soldiers and employees at foreign embassies to employees of foreign companies, businessmen, students and laborers.
They often reside in areas close to their workplace, schools for foreigners, international exchange complexes and so on, and their preferred housing type is changing from detached houses and villas to apartment complexes and studios with convenience facilities.
In Seoul, Mapo is rising as a new popular residential area for foreigners, thanks its accessibility to Yongsan International Business District and Seoul International Finance Center in Yeouido.
In addition, as many schools for foreigners including Dwight International School Seoul and Seoul Japanese School are located in the Sangam DMC, and Hanseong Chinese School is located nearby, foreign households with students prefer Mapo.
Since Songdo in Incheon attracted the secretariat of the Green Climate Fund, foreigners are rushing to the newly developed city. As foreign schools including Chadwick International, SUNY Korea, Mason Korea, Ghent University Global Campus and the University of Utah Asia Campus are located at Incheon Global Campus in Songdo, it is also rising as new trendy residential area for foreigners.
Finally, as the U.S. Forces in Korea that are currently scattered in different areas including Yongsan, Dongducheon, Uijeongbu and Paju are relocating to Pyeongtaek, a city in Gyeonggi Province, by 2016, it is expected that approximately 80,000 to 100,000 soldiers, civilian workers in the military and their families will take take up residence there.
By M. H. Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)