Buying real estate in South Korea?

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Is it a good time to buy a property in South Korea in 2024?

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property market South Korea

Everything you need to know is included in our South Korea Property Pack

Are you considering buying real estate in the land of K-pop? Are you unsure if it's better to buy now or wait until next year?

When it comes to market timing, there are varying opinions. Your Korean friend might tell you that now is the ideal time to buy property, while your colleagues in Seoul may think that prices will soon decline.

At BambooRoutes, when we create articles or update our pack of documents related to the real estate market in South Korea, we use factual data and statistics to analyze information, minimizing biases and uncertainties caused by opinions.

We have collected and examined all the official reports and statistics from government websites. Based on this extensive research, we have compiled a complete and reliable database. Here's what we discovered, which can assist you in deciding whether now is the right time to purchase real estate in South Korea.

Have a nice read!

How is the property market in South Korea currently?

South Korea currently stands out for its remarkable stability


Stability is a necessary condition when investing in real estate because it fosters predictable and reliable market conditions. It is an information you need as a foreigner looking to buy a property in South Korea.

You probably already know that South Korea is a very stable country. The last Fragile State Index reported for this country is 32.7, which is an exceptional number.

South Korea has experienced rapid economic growth and democratization since the end of the Korean War, and has maintained strong diplomatic ties with the international community. This has allowed the country to remain stable and secure, even in the face of regional tensions and global economic challenges.

Now, let's examine the predictions for the economy.

South Korea will keep growing steadily


Before buying a property, consider the economic well-being of the country.

As projected by the IMF, South Korea is likely to finish 2023 with a growth rate of 1.5%, which is not bad. As for 2024, the figure we're looking at is 2.4%.

This steady growth might keep going since South Korea's economy is expected to increase by 9.9% during the next 5 years, resulting in an average GDP growth rate of 2%.

The projected moderate growth rate in South Korea is still a good thing for someone who wants to invest in a property in this country because it indicates a stable and gradual increase in the value of property over time, providing a reliable return on investment. Additionally, moderate growth can be easier to manage than rapid or volatile growth.

That said, GDP growth is just one piece of the puzzle!South Korea gdp growth

South Korean business owners don't have faith in the economy


What do Koreans people think of their economy? The GDP growth forecast won't tell us. Luckily, in South Korea there is a designated metric that is regularly reported. It's not the case for every country, so we're lucky.

Assessing business leaders' confidence in the current and future economic conditions, the Business Consumer Index (BCI) is calculated based on surveys and assessments.

The Bank of Korea's data indicates that the Business Confidence Index is currently -24 for South Korea.

The diminished score can be attributed to the volatile climate of uncertainty and the sluggish demand for semiconductors.

This is not new, business operators were not confident 12 months ago either. The BCI score, back then, was at -14.

A lack of confidence among local businesses in South Korea can result in a sluggish property market. Economic uncertainty may lead to decreased investment and subdued property price growth. Buyers might face limited property choices and potentially encounter difficulty in finding motivated sellers.

From growth to stability to decline in property prices in South Korea


South Korea's home prices have increased by 20.1% in 5 years according to Kookmin bank, South Korea.

It means that if you had bought a modern apartment in Seoul for $750,000 five years ago, then it would now be worth around $901,000.

During these years, the trajectory of property prices has followed a pattern of growth, stability, and subsequent decline.

The current decline in property prices in South Korea should not always be regarded as a negative sign. It may potentially signify a market correction, creating an opportunity for you to invest in a property at a discounted price in South Korean cities.

You can find a more detailed analysis of the real estate prices in our property pack for South Korea.South Korea housing prices real estate

Everything you need to know is included in our South Korea Property Pack

South Korea's population is getting richer


When it comes to buying real estate, population growth and GDP per capita play a significant role, because:

  • a growing population means more people needing homes
  • a higher GDP per person means people have more money to spend on housing (which can lead to increased property value over time)

In South Korea, the average GDP per capita has changed by 8.3% over the last 5 years. It's a good performance.

This means that, if you purchase a modern apartment in Seoul and rent it out, you will find that each year, you'll attract more tenants with sufficient funds to cover the rent.

If you're considering purchasing and renting it out, this trend is a good thing. Then, the demand for rentals is likely to go up in South Korean cities, such as Seoul, Busan, or Incheon in 2024.

You'll get weak rental yields in South Korea


Turning our focus to the rental yield, let's investigate further.

It represents the annual rental income generated by a property divided by its purchase price or market value. For instance, if a property in South Korea is purchased for ₩500,000,000 and generates ₩25,000,000 in annual rental income, the rental yield would be 5%.

According to Numbeo, rental properties in South Korea offer gross rental yields ranging from 0.5% and 2.4%. You can find a more detailed analysis (by property and areas) in our pack of documents related to the real estate market in South Korea.

It means that your ability to generate substantial returns from a property investment may be limited.

South Korea rental yields

Everything you need to know is included in our South Korea Property Pack

In South Korea, inflation is anticipated to be moderate


Simply put, inflation is the increase in prices over time.

It's when your favorite plate of bibimbap costs 12,000 South Korean won instead of 10,000 South Korean won a couple of years ago.

If you're contemplating investing in a property, high inflation can offer several advantages:

  • Property values have a tendency to increase over time, potentially leading to capital appreciation.
  • Inflation can result in higher rental rates, thereby increasing the cash flow from the property.
  • Inflation reduces the real value of debt, making mortgage payments more affordable.
  • Real estate can act as a hedge against inflation, effectively preserving the value of the investment.
  • Diversifying into real estate provides stability during inflationary periods.

In line with IMF predictions, over the next 5 years, South Korea will have an inflation rate of 10.0%, which gives us an average yearly increase of 2.0%.

This data is suggesting that South Korea could experience a moderate rate of inflation in the future. Then, prices would rise. It might become more expensive to buy in the future. However, if you buy now, your investment might appreciate and you can sell for a higher value later.

Is it a good time to buy real estate in South Korea then?

Let's wrap things up!

Considering the available indicators, 2024 might not be the optimal time for property investment in South Korea due to a range of factors that suggest caution. While South Korea's stability and steady growth are favorable attributes, several concerns warrant careful consideration for potential investors.

The mixed trajectory of property prices, transitioning from growth to stability and even decline, underscores potential volatility in the real estate market. This trend, coupled with the weak rental yields, could impact the overall returns and immediate income potential for property buyers.

Despite South Korea's moderate inflation projection, the lack of faith expressed by business owners in the economy is a significant negative signal. This sentiment reflects underlying concerns about economic conditions, potentially influencing the investment environment and investor confidence.

While South Korea exhibits stability, growth potential, and an increasingly affluent population, the prevailing neutral and negative signals related to property prices, rental yields, inflation, and business sentiment might suggest that 2024 is not the most opportune time for property investment in the country. Investors should carefully assess these factors in light of their individual investment goals and risk tolerance.

We genuinely hope this article has provided you with valuable insights and information.. If you need to know more, you can check our our pack of documents related to the real estate market in South Korea.

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered financial advice. Readers are advised to consult with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions. We do not assume any liability for actions taken based on the information provided.

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