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More Japanese buying homes in Busan for living

Posted July. 18, 2011 08:48,   


One day in May, a 40-something woman entered a real estate agent`s office in Busan`s Haeundae district. She introduced herself as a Korean Japanese from Sendai, Japan, and said in not-so-fluent Korean that she wanted to see a house.

The woman looked around the Haeundae Beach region for a few days and bought a high-end officetel (a type of apartment with offices and amenities) at the Centum City area for 940 million won (887,210 US dollars).

“More than 10 Japanese visited my office after the earthquake in March,” said the real estate agent, adding, “Other agencies have also had many Japanese visitors.”

Lee Gang-seok, a real estate agent who has done business in the Haeundae area for seven years, said, “I had no Japanese clients before but after the earthquake in Japan, more than 10 teams of Japanese nationals visited my office. They all wanted to buy a house for living, not for investment.”

An increasing number of Japanese and ethnic Koreans from Japan are seeking to buy a second home in Busan in the wake of the March 11 earthquake in Japan. In the past, certain Japanese companies tried to buy homes for employees when they relocated their production bases from Japan to Korea.

Busan apparently appeals to Japanese who want a “safe” home free from the fear of earthquakes since Korea`s largest port city is geographically close to Japan and has Gimhae International Airport, offering easy access to and from Japan.

Jeong Byeong-seok, the head of the Centum City Real Estate Agent Association who is in charge of sales for WBC The Palace, a luxury residential officetel in Centum City, said, “Eight teams of Japanese investors visited us but all units were sold out, so we`re encouraging Korean owners to sell their units to Japanese.”

The Sharp Adelis, another high-end officetel in Marine City near Centum City, had 12 Japanese visitors and four deals concluded. A Japanese who visited the place at the advice of his son-in-law said, “I plan to buy three officetel units worth a combined 1.5 billion won (1.42 million dollars) because I want all of my family to live here together.”

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