Foreign land ownership up 1.2%

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Foreign land ownership up 1.2%

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The amount of Korean land owned by foreigners grew 1.2 percent in the third quarter, continuing its steady growth since the country opened its real estate market to foreign investors in 1998, the government said yesterday.

As of the end of September, foreigners owned a combined 229.29 9 (88.5 square miles) square kilometers of land in Korea, up from the 226.52 square kilometers owned by foreigners at the end of the second quarter, according to the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs.

By total area foreigners own 0.2 percent of Korea.

Foreigners’ land ownership grew at an annual average of 2.9 percent since 2008 in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

It grew at an average of 38.3 percent per year in the four years since 1998 when the country began allowing foreigners to own land here, the ministry said.

The number of real estate properties owned by foreigners rose 1.9 percent to 54,326 in the three months that ended Sept. 30, but their combined monetary value dropped 0.6 percent to some 32.29 trillion won ($28 billion).

The drop in value was caused by the belated correction of a statistical error made in 2006, the ministry said, adding the combined value had actually increased by some 400 billion won from the second quarter.

Nearly half, or 49.5 percent of the total, was owned by Korean expatriates, with 35.7 percent of the total owned by corporate investors, according to the ministry.

By nationality, Americans, including Korean-Americans, were the biggest foreign land owners, representing 57 percent of the total, followed by Europeans with 14.8 percent and Japanese with 8.7 percent. Chinese owned 1.8 percent of land in Korea.

By region foreigners owned the most area in Gyeonggi followed by 16.6 percent in South Jeolla.


Yonhap

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