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Rich villages in Seoul

Posted May. 19, 2015 08:01,   


SBS drama "Heard It As a Rumor" is a black comedy of upper class hypocrisy. Besides good acting, the house that looks like a huge palace where the CEO of a large law firm lives is the talk of the town. The house`s interior, which combines styles of an antique Korean traditional house and a western house, does more than just acting as a background. It symbolizes the hereditary peer: not a nouveau rich but people who enjoy wealth and reputation for generations.

TV dramas give hint to where Korea`s real rich villages are. Dramas "Cheongdamdong Scandal" and "Apgujeong Midnight Sun" directly mentioned Korea`s rich places in their titles. In dramas that are about love transcending social status, phone dialogues such as "Hello, this is Seongbuk-dong" and "Phone to you, Madame Hannam-dong" describe the social status of the character. Seongbuk-dong and Hannam-dong are remained as traditional rich villages in Korea where large houses of chairman of Korea`s conglomerates are located.

Entering the 1990s, large apartment complexes and multipurpose apartments emerged as new rich places. According to the Dong-A Ilbo`s survey on average price of Seoul`s apartments by districts, there has been a change in the top of the rich village list. While Gaepo-dong and Daechi-dong had ranked No. 1 and No. 1 respectively in 2005, after 10 years they fell to the third and fifth following Apgujeong-dong and Banpo-dong. Banpo-dong rose four notches led by apartment complexes "Raemian Firstige" and "Banpo Xi" that formed themselves as new city-like places.

Population in Seoul has declined by 50,000 people on annual average in the past five years. Should this trend continue, the era of "10 million resident registered population" in Seoul will be broken by early 2017. High home prices are one reason people are relocating out of Seoul. According to the 2014 residence state survey results announced by the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry in April, high income class` home ownership ratio increased but that of mid to low income people declined. Residential gap can lead to rising disparity in education, jobs and income. Social efforts are necessary to create a pleasant environment for low-income to live. Neglecting this gap will make climbing the income mobility even harder.