Buying real estate in South Korea?

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Best areas to buy and invest in property in Seoul

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property investment Seoul

Yes, the analysis of Seoul's property market is included in our pack

The question of 'the best neighborhood to buy a property in Seoul' does not have a one-size-fits-all answer.

Some of you are buying to live there, while others want to make the best investment possible. Individual preferences and circumstances matter.

That’s why the article below is covering every intent.

At BambooRoutes, when we write a blog post or when we update our our property pack for South Korea, we want to bring solutions and cover different aims in a clear and organized way.

Enjoy the read, and please remember that we are not financial or investment experts. This article is for informational purposes only.

To improve the readability and user-friendliness of this article, we will categorize neighborhoods in Seoul into various groups, including budget-friendly options, emerging hotspots, and areas with high rental demand, among others. Consequently, some neighborhoods may appear in multiple categories and be mentioned several times throughout the article.

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buying property in Seoul

How is the real estate market in Seoul?

The real estate market in Seoul is a fascinating and dynamic landscape, characterized by its unique position as a global city with distinct attractions and characteristics that draw people to invest and live here.

One of the core strengths of Seoul is its blend of ultra-modern skyscrapers and historic sites. This city harmoniously intertwines centuries-old palaces like Gyeongbokgung and contemporary architectural marvels, a juxtaposition you won't easily find elsewhere. This blend of the old and the new is a magnetic pull for many.

People are drawn to buy property in Seoul for various reasons.

The city is a hub of technological innovation and robust economic activity, making it appealing to professionals and entrepreneurs alike. Seoul's advanced public transportation system, cutting-edge technology, and bustling cultural scene add to its allure.

These factors contribute to the city's dynamic real estate market.

Interestingly, the city's real estate market is also a hotspot for foreign investors. Seoul's global business opportunities, high standard of living, and the reputation of its education system make it a desirable location for expatriates and international investors.

The Korean government's initiatives to simplify property buying processes for foreigners have further fueled this interest.

Speaking of the market's dynamism, a notable data point is the consistent rise in property prices despite global economic fluctuations. This resilience indicates the strong demand and value of real estate in Seoul.

One particularly unique and positive aspect of properties in Seoul is their emphasis on efficient space utilization. Given the limited land area and high population density, many apartments and homes in Seoul are designed with innovative space-saving features.

This efficient use of space is not only a necessity but also a creative approach to urban living, which is quite specific to Seoul.

Looking towards the future, there are several reasons why properties in Seoul will likely continue to gain value.

The city's ongoing development, including major infrastructure projects like the expansion of public transport networks, will enhance connectivity and livability.

Additionally, Seoul's status as a leading global city in technology and culture is expected to keep attracting businesses and individuals, thereby increasing the demand for real estate.

The city's focus on sustainable and smart city initiatives is also a forward-thinking approach that adds long-term value to its properties.

Top neighborhoods in Seoul to consider for living

Areas in Seoul that are budget-friendly

If you're looking to buy property in Seoul on a budget, there are a few neighborhoods you might want to consider.

Here is a summary table. Below, we will give more details.

Neighborhood Average Price per Sqm Property Types Resident Demographics Strengths Weaknesses
Guro-gu Lower than central areas Mixed (Old & New Apartments) Middle-income families, Professionals Tech industry, Community feel Distance from center, Less nightlife
Nowon-gu Competitive Apartments, Single-family homes Families, Students Good schools, Green spaces Far from business districts, Fewer attractions
Dobong-gu Lowest in Seoul Diverse (Older & Newer Apartments) Older residents, Young families Natural attractions, Quiet lifestyle Distance from city center, Limited entertainment


Guro-gu is known for its affordability, mainly because it's a bit removed from the city center, making it less appealing for those wanting to be in the thick of Seoul's hustle and bustle.

However, this distance means property values have room to grow, especially as Seoul continues to expand. In Guro-gu, you'll find a mix of older apartments and newer developments, catering to a range of budgets.

The average price per square meter in Guro-gu is relatively lower compared to more central areas. The residents are typically middle-income families and working professionals.

Strengths include a growing tech industry, improving infrastructure, and a strong sense of community. Weaknesses are its distance from central Seoul and less vibrant nightlife.


Nowon-gu is another budget-friendly area, particularly attractive for families and students.

The cost of living in Nowon-gu is lower due to its suburban feel and distance from the city center. Properties are primarily residential, with a good mix of apartments and single-family homes.

The average price per square meter in Nowon-gu is competitive, offering good value for money. It's populated mostly by families and students, given its proximity to several universities.

Its strengths include a peaceful environment, good schools, and ample green spaces. However, its weaknesses lie in its distance from major business districts and fewer cultural attractions.


Dobong-gu offers affordability due to its location on the northern edge of Seoul.

The area is less developed commercially, which keeps property prices down. However, with ongoing development projects, property values are expected to rise. The housing market is diverse, from older, more affordable apartments to newer, slightly pricier options.

The average price per square meter in Dobong-gu is among the lowest in Seoul. The population is a mix of older residents and younger families.

Strengths of Dobong-gu include its close proximity to natural attractions like Bukhansan National Park and a quieter, more laid-back lifestyle. The downsides are its distance from the city center and limited entertainment options.

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Areas in Seoul that are popular and upscale

When looking to buy property in Seoul, three neighborhoods stand out as upscale and popular choices. These neighborhoods each have their unique character and draw different types of residents.

Neighborhood Average Price/sqm Resident Profile Strengths Weaknesses Future Outlook
Gangnam 30+ million won Affluent professionals, celebrities Vibrant nightlife, luxury shopping Crowded, high cost of living Continuously high demand
Seocho ~25 million won Affluent families, professionals Safety, educational facilities Less dynamic, high cost of living Stable popularity
Yongsan 20-25 million won Expats, diverse professionals Cultural diversity, central location Traffic, noise Vibrant market


Gangnam is synonymous with luxury in Seoul.

It's expensive because it's a hub for high-end shopping, entertainment, and business, attracting affluent individuals and celebrities. Properties in Gangnam are mostly modern apartments and some villas, with average prices per square meter being among the highest in the city, often exceeding 30 million won.

The residents in Gangnam are typically wealthy professionals, celebrities, and business executives. The strengths of Gangnam include its vibrant nightlife, top-notch dining options, and excellent transport links. However, its weaknesses lie in its crowdedness and high cost of living.

The hype around Gangnam is likely to persist due to its status symbol and continuous development, ensuring property values remain high.


Seocho is another upscale neighborhood, known for its tranquil environment and high-quality living standards.

It's expensive due to its spacious apartments, excellent schools, and green spaces like Yangjaecheon Stream and Seoul Arts Center. The average price per square meter in Seocho is slightly lower than in Gangnam but still quite high, around 25 million won.

Seocho is popular among affluent families and professionals seeking a balanced lifestyle. Its strengths are its safety, educational facilities, and recreational areas.

However, it can be less dynamic compared to other upscale areas and has a higher cost of living. Seocho's appeal as a family-friendly and prestigious area suggests its popularity and property values will remain stable.


Yongsan is a unique blend of traditional and modern Seoul, known for its cultural landmarks like the War Memorial of Korea and Namsan Park.

It's expensive due to its central location, historical significance, and mix of housing options from Hanok houses to luxury apartments. The average price per square meter in Yongsan varies greatly but can be as high as 20-25 million won.

Yongsan's residents are diverse, including expatriates, professionals, and families. The area's strengths are its cultural diversity, central location, and historical charm.

Its weaknesses include traffic congestion and noise. Yongsan's ongoing development and cultural richness suggest its real estate market will remain vibrant.

Make sure you understand the real estate market in Seoul

Don't rush into buying the wrong property in South Korea. Sit, relax and read our guide to avoid costly mistakes and make the best investment possible.

real estate market Seoul

Areas in Seoul that emerge as new hotspots

Let's explore these emerging neighborhoods in Seoul that, according to our local partners and our customers, are getting quite a bit of buzz lately.

Neighborhood Average Price/sqm Resident Profile Strengths Weaknesses Future Outlook
Mangwon Lower than upscale areas Young professionals, artists Vibrant food scene, artistic vibe Noisy, crowded on weekends Rising trendiness
Ikseon-dong More affordable Tourists, young professionals Blend of old and new, unique vibe Gentrification, loss of character Increasing popularity
Euljiro Rising, lower than established areas Creative professionals, entrepreneurs Industrial charm, creative community Rough edges, lacks amenities Upward trajectory in popularity


Mangwon used to be a quiet residential area but has recently transformed into a trendy hotspot, especially among young professionals and artists.

The neighborhood's evolution is driven by its unique blend of traditional markets, like Mangwon Market, and hip cafes and shops. Properties in Mangwon are generally more affordable than in traditional upscale areas, with prices per square meter significantly lower, making it an attractive option for first-time buyers.

Prices in Mangwon are expected to rise steadily as the area gains popularity. Mangwon's strengths include its vibrant food scene and artistic vibe.

However, it can be noisy and crowded, especially on weekends. The neighborhood's ongoing development and growing popularity among younger demographics suggest it will continue to rise in trendiness.


Ikseon-dong, once a quiet traditional Hanok village, has seen a renaissance with an influx of trendy cafes, boutiques, and galleries.

This neighborhood's transformation is attracting a mix of tourists, young professionals, and creative minds. Properties in Ikseon-dong are a mix of Hanok houses and small apartments, with prices being more affordable compared to upscale areas.

The charm of Ikseon-dong lies in its blend of old and new, offering a unique living experience. However, it's also faced challenges like gentrification and loss of traditional character.

Prices are likely to rise as the area's popularity grows. Ikseon-dong's appeal to younger and creative individuals suggests it will continue to be a trendy spot.


Euljiro is an industrial area undergoing a transformation into a creative hub.

The neighborhood, known for its printing shops, has attracted artists and entrepreneurs, leading to a blend of workshops, galleries, and hip eateries. The property prices in Euljiro are currently lower than in more established areas but are rising as the area becomes more popular.

Euljiro's strengths are its unique industrial charm and creative community. However, it still retains some rough edges and lacks some residential amenities.

As more creative spaces and businesses move in, Euljiro is likely to continue its upward trajectory in popularity, particularly among young, creative professionals.

Make a profitable investment in Seoul

Better information leads to better decisions. Save time and money. Download our guide.

buying property in Seoul

Top neighborhoods in Seoul to invest in property

Areas in Seoul with a strong rental demand

If you're considering buying real estate in Seoul for renting it out, these neighborhoods with high demand for rentals should be considered.

Neighborhood Tenant Profile Property Type Average Rental Income Rental Yield Tips for Higher Income Weaknesses
Gangnam-gu Professionals, Expats Modern Apartments 2.5-3M KRW/month 3-4% Near subway, business hubs High investment, competition
Mapo-gu Students, Young Professionals Studios, Two-bedrooms 1-1.5M KRW/month 3.5-4.5% Near universities, nightlife Higher turnover, maintenance
Songpa-gu Families, Professionals Larger Apartments 2-2.5M KRW/month 3-3.5% Near schools, parks Cost of larger units


In Gangnam-gu, the rental demand is strong due to its status as a prime business and entertainment district.

Tenants here are often professionals and expatriates seeking proximity to multinational companies and upscale amenities. They prefer modern, well-maintained apartments, ideally furnished and with good connectivity. Rental incomes in Gangnam-gu can be quite high, with a 2-bedroom apartment potentially fetching around 2.5 to 3 million KRW per month.

The rental yield in Gangnam-gu is generally around 3-4%, which is considered good for Seoul's standards. To increase rental income and reduce vacancies, focus on properties near popular subway stations or business hubs.

However, the high property prices and competition from luxury developments can be downsides. Properties in Gangnam-gu face stiff competition, and high initial investment is needed to enter this market.


Mapo-gu, especially areas like Hongdae, is popular among younger tenants, including students and young professionals, due to its vibrant culture and proximity to universities and tech startups.

The demand is for smaller, affordable units in Mapo-gu, often one-room studios or two-bedroom apartments. These can rent for about 1 to 1.5 million KRW per month, with a rental yield of around 3.5-4.5%.

Investing in well-located, smaller units near universities or nightlife spots can maximize rental income and minimize vacancies. However, there's a risk of higher turnover and potential for noise complaints or maintenance issues due to the younger demographic.

While rental demand is strong, investors should be mindful of potential property wear and tear and manage tenant expectations carefully.


Songpa-gu, known for the Jamsil area and Lotte World Tower, attracts families and professionals.

The demand in Songpa-gu is for larger apartments with good amenities and proximity to schools and parks. Rental income for a three-bedroom apartment in Songpa-gu can range from 2 to 2.5 million KRW per month. The rental yield here hovers around 3-3.5%.

Properties near Lotte World Tower or along the Han River are particularly sought after. Investing in family-friendly properties with good security, nearby schools, and parks can be a wise choice.

However, the cost of larger apartments and the slower pace of rent increase compared to smaller units can be drawbacks. The area is less volatile in terms of rental demand, but the initial investment can be significant.

Don't lose money on your property in Seoul

100% of people who have lost money in South Korea have spent less than 1 hour researching the market. We have reviewed everything there is to know. Grab our guide now.

invest real estate in Seoul

Areas in Seoul where property prices might increase in the future

In these areas in in Seoul you can still find properties at a reasonable price, with room for appreciation as the neighborhoods develop.

Neighborhood Tenant Profile Property Type Average Price/Night Tips for Higher Income Weaknesses
Myeongdong Tourists, Business Travelers Studios, One-bedrooms 60-100K KRW Near shopping, transport Seasonal fluctuations
Itaewon Expats, Tourists Apartment, Guesthouses 70-120K KRW Near nightlife, unique features Noise, high turnover
Gangnam-gu Business Travelers, Affluent Tourists Luxury Apartments, Studios 80-150K KRW Near business centers, premium facilities High competition, maintenance


In Myeongdong, short-term rental demand is driven by tourists and business travelers due to its shopping and business facilities.

Visitors in Myeongdong seek convenient, well-furnished studio or one-bedroom apartments, often with amenities like Wi-Fi and close proximity to public transport. The average price for one night in Myeongdong can range from 60,000 to 100,000 KRW.

To maximize income, focus on properties close to major shopping areas and subway stations. However, the downside is the fluctuating tourist seasons which can affect occupancy rates.

Properties in Myeongdong should be well-maintained and offer modern amenities to attract short-term renters.


Itaewon's short-term rental market thrives due to its diverse culture and popularity among expats and tourists.

The area is favored for its nightlife, international cuisine, and shopping. Tenants typically look for trendy, well-equipped apartments or guesthouses. Nightly rates in Itaewon can vary between 70,000 to 120,000 KRW.

Properties close to popular dining and nightlife spots or with unique features can command higher rates.

However, the area can be noisy, and there might be issues with property management due to the high turnover of tenants. Investing in soundproofing and providing extra services can enhance rental appeal.

Gangnam-gu (Short-term)

In the short-term rental market, Gangnam-gu attracts business travelers and affluent tourists.

They prefer luxury apartments or high-end studios with modern amenities and easy access to business districts. Prices per night in Gangnam-gu can range from 80,000 to 150,000 KRW.

Properties near major business centers or with premium facilities can yield higher rents. The challenge in Gangnam-gu is the high competition and the need for continuous investment to maintain luxury standards.

Focusing on exceptional service and maintaining high-quality standards can ensure steady demand.

Make sure you understand the real estate market in Seoul

Don't rush into buying the wrong property in South Korea. Sit, relax and read our guide to avoid costly mistakes and make the best investment possible.

real estate market Seoul