Demand rising for 2-bedroom unitsIn recent years, one room apartments dominated the small apartment market but the trend is shifting to two-room units to accommodate an increasing number of families.
According to Statistics Korea, in 2010 there were more than 7.9 million households with two or three family members, accounting for 45.5 percent of all households in Korea. Families of three people or less are expected to make up 48 percent of households by next year and 50 percent by 2020.
Finding two-bedroom apartments between 30 and 50 square meters is not easy, especially in Seoul. Most newly developed small apartments only have one bedroom and are much smaller than 30 square meters. Even small-sized government leased apartments are at least 59 square meters with three bedrooms.
Due to the lack of supply, competition for the apartments is tense. A complex of two-room apartments that went on sale in Mapo, central Seoul in May last year faced competition of an average of 25.5 applicants for one unit. Another two-room apartment in Songpa, southeastern Seoul, that went on sale in November saw its competition at 7.9 to 1.
The competition will likely continue when Daewoo E&C puts up for sale 253 units of two-room apartments in Dongdaemun, central Seoul this month. The Prugio City complex is made of two apartment buildings that are 24 stories high with five basement floors. There are 824 units in the buildings-- 525 are 23 square meters and 299 are either 19 or 36 square meters.
A small apartment building in Yeoksam is offering one bedroom and two-room apartments in its 15 story high building. Out of the 333 units available, 211 are one-room apartments and the other 122 units have two bedrooms.
According to the real estate market most of the people looking to buy the small apartments are in their 20s and 30s, including college students and newlyweds.
BY lee ho-jeong [email@example.com]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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