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Seoul Asia's Best Real Estate Market
Seoul has been rated as the most preferred investment market for real estate due to its strong liquidity and good availability of products.
In a seminar organized by the Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements Friday, Hans Min, vice president of CB Richard Ellis Korea, said Seoul ranked as the most favorable in Asia in a survey of 20 key investors worldwide in late 2003.
``Seoul has a landlord-friendly lease structure, capital convertibility and market transparency, thus making it attractive in terms of real estate investment,'' he said.
The next four preferred destinations for real estate investment were Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore and Taipei.
On a scale of one to five in 10 categories, Seoul chalked up full marks in lease structure, currency convertibility and real estate market liquidity for a combined score of 37.
The Korean capital scored relatively low threes for political stability and its regulatory environment.
According to Min and his survey, the demand for Grade A offices is expected to outpace supply from as early as next year as vacancy dips to 3.6 percent this year, 3.4 percent next year and 3 percent in 2006.
As a result, Seoul is consistently one of the world's highest yielding office market with a prime rate of 8.5 percent, considerably higher than 6.5 percent for Hong Kong, 4.5 percent for Tokyo, 5.8 percent for Shanghai and 3.3 percent for Singapore.
"Another attractive aspect of the Seoul market is that it is 50 percent larger than Hong Kong's and 100 percent bigger than Singapore's," Min said.