Kangnam Renovations of Aging Buildings in QuagmireApartment prices are likely to slump in the Kyongnam and Sora areas, both located in the upscale Kangnam or southern part of Seoul. City Hall has begun to implement strict limits on building heights to a maximum of 15 stories in Socho Ward in Kangnam.
The Kyongnam apartment complex with 460 condominiums in ten-story buildings and the Sora apartment comlex with its 560 units in 12-story high buildings were both built 20 years ago. The buldings, which are showing their age, are slated for massive renovations which were to see the buildings rise to 15-story complexes along with the renovations to the existing floors.
Prices presently are quite good with those in the Kyongnam complex seeing 35 pyong units(115.5 sq. m) go for about 310 million won($279,000), 53 pyong units(174.9 sq. m) for 470 to 530 million won($423,000-$477,000). The Sora area is also quite good for 33 pyong units(108.9 sq. m) at about 230 million won($207,000) and 47 pyong units(155.1 sq. m) for about 380 million won($342,000).
However, in the wake of the City's new zoning laws, real estate analysts and agencies are expecting this situation to change. One neighboring real estate agent forsees that "since tenants are going to heavily inconvenienced by the proposed renovations, a situation that new apartment owners do not usually have to contend with, the renovations will likely make the units less attractive, probably with current prices falling by about 10 to 20 million won($9,000-$18,000) per pyong."
A spokesperson for Sinil Real Estate Agency in the area also noted that the "City will have to steel itself against the protest which the prsent owners in these areas are sure to bring. They'll also have to somehow balance this with the repairs these and, for that matter, the city's aging apartments are in desperate need of."
by Yom Tae-jong