Each year, millions of expatriates from across the globe move to Seoul. Yet, finding accommodation in the South Korean capital city is not an easy task.
Seoul has become one of the most popular destinations in South Korea. But finding a home in this city is not an easy task if you wish to settle there. You will need sufficient funds and a lot of patience before finding the type of accommodation which suits you best. Note that housing prices for foreigners are relatively higher in Seoul than in other South Korean cities.
There are, nevertheless, a variety of housing types in the different neighborhoods.
Good to know:
In 2013, Seoul had a population of more than 11 million inhabitants, including a high concentration of expatriates.
Types of accommodation
You can choose among houses, villas, apartments and houses with maintenance facilities. You will also find studios in academic and business districts, as well as “officetels” which are combinations of office and residential spaces. These are generally more modern than studios and offer more amenities such as furniture and appliances.
Expats in Seoul have settled in different neighborhoods, most of which are located around the city center. The most popular neighborhoods are the UN Village, Hannam-Dong, Dong-Dongbinggo, Seobinggo-Dong, Itaewon, Yonhee-Dong, Seongbuk-Dong, and Pyeongchang-Dong, etc. In the South, you will find Gangnam, Bangbae Dong as well as the Olympic Family Town and the Olympic Park which have been built for athletes' families.
The UN Village is considered to be one of Seoul's safest neighborhoods as police patrols are regularly held. In Itaewon, you will mostly find villas while in Yonhee-Dong, townhouses and individual houses are generally available. European style apartments and houses are mainly found in Bangbae-Dong.
If you intend to make a short stay in Seoul, you could rent a hotel room. For a luxurious room, you will need 300,000 won per day and about 200,000 won per day for an average room.
If you are planning to stay longer, you will need an average of 700,000 won per month for a studio, around 1.2 million won monthly for a two-bedroom apartment and more than 3.5 million won per month for a three-bedroom apartment.
To rent a villa or a house, you will need at least one million won per month. Prices may even reach up to 10 million won according to the neighborhood and comfort level.
To find accommodation in Seoul, check the classified ads in local newspapers or real estate websites. You can also hire a real estate agent who can find the most suitable type of accommodation for you according to your preferences and budget. Word-of-mouth can also help you if you have friends or relatives there.