Friday, April 07, 2006

Korean Housing Demands

Recently one of the participant in a Bridging Culture workshop emailed me and asked "What does housing cost in Korea?"

I explained that the high cost of apartments in Seoul. The article highlights the demand on government sponsored housing.

An estimated two million people are vying to win the rights to buy one of 815 apartment units to be built in Pangyo, south of Seoul.

The winners will be decided in a 1-in-up-to-3,000 chance draw. They are expected to see a hefty increase in the value of their yet-to-be-built apartments immediately after they are declared winners in the new town, whose proximity to the upscale Kangnam makes it very attractive as property investments.

The applicants hold accounts in which they have deposited the required amount of money for the purpose of applying to purchase the apartments. They are also obligated to prove that they have not owned houses for a long period of time, among other things.

Private construction companies will build the 815 units, expected to be complete in the next couple of years.

The 815 apartments consist of 246 units in Songnam City and 569 units in non-city districts in Kyonggi Province.

To apply for the apartments, people should use online banking systems or visit the banks in person for help if they donĂ‚’t know how to use the systems, a ministry official said.

Commercial banks have invested billions of won to improve their online transaction systems and to increase phone lines and other communication channels for the convenience of prospective buyers and to prevent possible accidents.

Kookmin Bank, which is likely to handle some 70 percent of the contracts, said it has expanded servers for online banking and set up a communication center, which can handle 1,000 telephone calls simultaneously.

It also plans to build a strong firewall to avoid possible attempts by hackers to collapse its system.

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