Foreigners now own 0.2% of land in Korea

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Foreigners now own 0.2% of land in Korea

Foreign ownership of Korean land increased slightly last year, the government said Tuesday.

The amount of land owned by foreign entities came to 238.9 million square meters (92.2 square miles) in 2017, up 2.3 percent or 5.34 million square meters from the end of 2016, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

The rate of increase has been slowing compared to previous years after surging 6 percent and 9.6 percent on-year in 2014 and 2015, respectively. In 2016, the rate stood at 2.3 percent.

The amount of land held by foreigners accounts for 0.2 percent of the country’s total area, with the value estimated at 30.12 trillion won ($28.1 billion), the ministry said.

By nationality, individuals and companies from the United States owned the most with 124.8 million square meters of land, accounting for 52.2 percent of the total.

Japanese came next with 7.8 percent, Chinese with 7.5 percent and Europeans with 7.3 percent, it said.

By region, Gyeonggi Province, surrounding the capital city, was the area of choice for land ownership by foreigners, accounting for 17.9 percent of their total land ownership in Korea.

The southern resort island of Jeju saw its foreign ownership of land increase 1.65 million square meters, or 8.2 percent, on-year in 2017, according to the ministry.

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