Posted September. 03, 2005 08:34,
Luxurious cars were lining up in front of the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Yongsan-gu, Seoul as the clock passed 9:00 a.m. on September 2.
The so-called wealthy people of Seoul were packing in to attend the presentation for the new real estate policies hosted by the Kookmin Bank.
Those who attended the presentation included 220 private banking (PB) clients. In order to apply to be a PB client, over 300 million won has to be deposited in the bank, and Kookmin Bank said that the top 10 percent of its customers attended that days presentation.
The large Grand Ballroom was filled with people. Participants underlined the text of the material passed out, while taking notes in efforts to not lose a word of what the lecturers were saying.
After the two-hour presentation which started at 10:00 a.m. was finished, questions were received from the attendants.
A woman in her 60s asked, The only house I have is a Hyundai Apartment unit in Apgujeong-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul that I lived in for over 20 years. If I am to sell this, I heard the tax was worth 500 million won. Should I keep it until I die, or is it better to sell it right now?
There were no other questions, for the clients were hesitating that their social position may become revealed.
Afterwards, the attendants talked over the new real estate policies over a lunch meal.
Someone who introduced himself to be a self-employer in his 40s said, This is a megaton-level measure. The government came out strong as usual. But all the past measures were the same at first. It will go up in smoke when the government ruling comes to an end.
Kim Jong-ha (age 72), running a private business, said, I was going to sell my real estate property to provide for my aging, but it seems that I have to give it up all to taxes. He raised his voice, saying, This is a harsh policy to old people.
A woman in her 50s said, What do they expect us to do if they raise the real estate tax and capital gains tax so high? Residents in the Gangnam area are protesting that we cannot even move freely.
However, some, including Choi (age 68), who revealed himself to be the head of a small and middle-sized company, are saying that it is reasonable for those who have more to pay higher taxes.
A total of 20 attendees applied for one-to-one consultations following the presentation, and asked for advice on the future flow of the real estate market, how to make investments, and whether to dispose of their real estate properties.
Kookmin Banks real estate team manager, Park Hab-su, advised, We will have to make changes in their asset portfolios due to the new policies. However, if you still persist in investing in real estate, try turning to the business sector rather than the home or land sectors, which are subjected to regulations.