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Foreign ownership of S. Korean land grows in 2015

According to Yonhap News,

(SEJONG=Yonhap News) Foreign ownership of land in South Korea grew slightly last year from a year earlier amid rising Chinese investment in the southern resort island of Jeju, the government said Friday.

The amount of land owned by foreign entities came to 228.27 million square meters as of end-2015, up 9 percent from the previous year's 208.28 million, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

The land owned by foreign investors or companies accounted for 0.2 percent of the country's total area, with the estimated values of the land owned by foreigners coming to about 32.57 trillion won (US$27.39 billion).

South Korean expatriates accounted for the largest 54.5 percent of land owned by foreign entities, the ministry said in a press release.

Joint ventures owned 33.1 percent of the total, followed by foreign firms with 7.6 percent of the foreign total.

Foreign individuals of non-Korean heritage owned about 10.3 million square meters of land, accounting for 4.5 percent of the foreign total.

Some 0.3 percent is held by foreign governments or state agencies.

By nationality, individuals or companies from the United States owned some 117.4 million square meters, accounting for 51.4 percent of the foreign total.

European investors owned some 22.1 million square meters of land, followed by Japanese and Chinese entities with 18.7 million square meters and 14.2 million square meters, respectively.

In particular, some 20.6 million square meters, or 1.1 percent, of Jeju Island is owned by foreigners, marking the fourth-highest number in size after South Jeolla Province, Gyeonggi Province and North Gyeongsang Province.

Chinese ownership takes up 44.4 percent of the total, followed by the U.S. with 17.9 percent and Japan with 11.7 percent.

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Source: Yonhap News (May 19, 2016)
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