More leave Seoul for life in the burbs

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More leave Seoul for life in the burbs

Residents continue to leave Seoul, burdened by the high cost of living. The improved transportation network in the neighboring areas, namely Gyeonggi, has exacerbated the exodus from the crowded capital.

Last month, 14,582 people fled Seoul, the largest exodus among other cities and provinces during the same period, the government said Thursday.

Meanwhile, surrounding Gyeonggi saw the biggest influx of residents. The administrative city of Sejong also saw a sharp increase in net inflow of residents largely due to the continuing relocation of civil servants.

Seoul has lost residents for more than seven years, Statistics Korea said.

“Most Koreans, except for those in their 20s, are leaving the capital and relocating to other regions,” said Lee Jee-yeon, a director at the statistics agency. “People in their 20s are moving to the capital, mainly due to education, while older Koreans seem to leave Seoul due to high housing costs.”

Seoul net lost 125,000 this year as of November, and the yearly figure is expected to reach 142,400, if the current pace continues. This will be the largest loss of residents in a year since 1997, when 178,300 left its borders. In 2015, the net outflows were 137,200.

In November, the average purchase price for a residence in Seoul rose 3.14 percent year on year to 525.9 million won ($438,871) and that of jeonse, or lump-sum deposits, increased 2.82 percent to 339.4 million won, according to KB Kookmin Bank’s monthly report. The national average residence price, on the other hand, rose 1.46 percent to 306.7 million won, while jeonse rose 1.78 percent to 207.6 million won in the same period, the report said.

As people left Seoul, Gyeonggi’s population continued to grow. The net inflow of people in Gyeonggi was 11,874, with 181,152 relocating to the province and 169,278 moving out.

South Chungcheong saw 2,087 flee, followed by the administrative city of Sejong with 1,859 migrants.


BY KIM YOUNG-NAM [kim.youngnam@joongang.co.kr]

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