Foreign housing investment in Seoul: Origin of investors and location of investment

Hyung Min Kim*, Sun Sheng Han, Kevin B. O'Connor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Foreign housing investment is an outcome of increased mobility in the era of globalisation. The literature has acknowledged the impacts of global migration and capital flows on space. However, an understanding of foreign home ownership is scarce in spite of its growing volume and influence. This study explores who the foreign buyers of housing in Seoul are and where the houses owned by foreigners locate. By analysing housing transaction data and the location of ethnic communities, this paper shows that foreign housing investment in Seoul is closely associated with overseas Koreans rather than any average global talent or immigrant. The location of foreign owned houses is linked to the geography of ethnic clusters as well as areas where high potential investment returns are perceived. Foreign housing investment has the potential to strengthen long-term settlements of foreigners, and to encourage the emergence of "global villages".

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-223
Number of pages12
Issue numberPB
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015


  • Foreign housing investment
  • Global city
  • Global migration
  • Seoul


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