Peace Talks Ignite Land Buying Frenzy Along South Korea’s Fortified Border
With North Korea pledging to reduce tensions and renew ties with its southern neighbor, South Korea’s hottest property market is now along the heavily fortified border between the two countries.
Demand for property in small towns and sparsely populated rural areas around the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) is surging on expectations of an influx of people and investment.
Kang Sung-wook, a 37-year old dentist in the South Korean border city of Paju, has bought eight separate lots of land in and around the DMZ since mid-March.
Five were purchased without ever setting foot on them, using only Google Earth satellite photos and maps, as areas inside the DMZ cannot not be accessed by the public.
Kang said buying interest jumped so sharply as relations between the former foes improved that he needed to move fast.
“I was out looking since North Korea-U.S. summit news was announced in March, and it looked like all the good ones were gone already,” said Kang. “I realized then that the market was on fire.”
His investment along the border now totals 3 billion won ($2.8 million) for 49 acres (20 hectares) of land.