Foreign-owned land inches up

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Foreign-owned land inches up

The amount of land owned by foreigners grew slightly from a year ago, according to data released yesterday by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

The ministry said foreigners or foreign companies owned 226.7 million square meters (2.4 billion square feet) as of the end of the first quarter, up 0.21 percent from a year ago and measuring 0.2 percent of nation’s total area.

In addition, the ministry estimated the value of foreign-owned land at 32.4 trillion won ($28 billion), up 0.17 percent from a year earlier.

Korean expatriates with foreign citizenship accounted for 56.9 percent (128.8 million square meters) of the nation’s total foreign-owned land, followed by joint ventures (31.9 percent), firms (6.9 percent) and individuals (4.1 percent).

By nationality, Americans held 53.9 percent of the foreign-owned land, followed by Europeans (10.5 percent), Japanese (8.4 percent) and Chinese (2.5 percent).

However, Chinese investors were most active this year, purchasing 400,000 square meters in the January-March period.

The amount of land owned by Japanese decreased by 3,000 square meters.

More than 17 percent of foreign-owned land was in Gyeonggi, followed by South Jeolla (16.8 percent) and North Gyeongsang (16 percent). But for this first quarter, North Gyeongsang was the hottest area, with foreigners purchasing 850,000 square meters.

In contrast, North Chungcheong saw foreigners selling 1.08 million square meters.

In terms of value, Seoul was the No. 1 area even though it accounted for only 1.2 percent of the foreign-owned land in Korea.

The value of foreign-owned land in the capital was estimated at 10.1 trillion won, according to ministry data.

By Joo Kyung-don []
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