Largest Chinese Overseas Property Buyers in Korea: Data

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As foreign ownership in South Korea continues to grow, property purchases by Chinese businesses ranked number one for the ninth consecutive year, according to industry data released on Tuesday.

Overseas property accounted for 0.69 percent of total property purchases in the country as of August, according to Jikbang, a real estate app development company, continuing its upward trend since 2010, when it was 0.2 percent.

Among foreign buyers, the Chinese have acquired the largest volume of real estate. Their share of real estate ownership fluctuated between 60 and 70 percent of the total number of foreign-owned properties from 2017 to this month.

Since 2013, when the rate reached 36.48%, the Chinese have ranked first in terms of real estate purchases in Asia’s fourth largest economy, the company said.

The majority of property purchases by Chinese investors between 2017 and 21 were made in Bucheon, Gyeonggi Province, as well as in the Bupyeong area of ​​Incheon, west of Seoul.

Meanwhile, the share of real estate purchases by US investors, who in 2010 owned more than 50 percent of the total number of properties owned by foreigners, fell to less than 10 percent.

“As China’s economic growth gains momentum, an increasing number of investors in the country are turning their attention to overseas markets, especially to neighboring countries such as South Korea,” a Jikbang spokesman said.

As Chinese money flows into the local housing market, there is growing concern about potential speculative housing deals by foreign investors who may borrow money overseas to buy homes in Korea to avoid the government’s tough mortgage loan regulations.

“The volume of real estate transactions by foreigners is a small share of the total number of real estate transactions throughout the country. However, given the upward trend in home ownership, local financial authorities should take preventive measures to allay market fears about their possible speculative buying rampage that could add fuel to the current overheated housing market, ”the official added.

By Choi Jae Hee (cjh@heraldcorp.com)



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