South Korea

Living in South Korea

Iyna Bort Caruso

South Korea is a compact, largely urbanized and densely populated republic, but national parks, ski slopes, UNESCO World Heritage sites and resort islands offer endless recreational opportunities.

The peninsula in which South Korea sits was divided after World War II, and though North and South Korea have maintained a delicate co-existence over the decades, their shared culture dates back thousands of years.

Seoul is the powerhouse capital with aspirations to be the financial hub of Asia as well.  Samsung, Hyundai, Kia Motors and LG Electronics all have their world headquarters here. Korean pop culture--K pop--is another worldwide export. The greater metropolitan area, once farm lands and rice paddies, is now home to about half of the country’s 50 million population. New housing has been a priority to address shortages in the market.  

The Han River divides the city.  The luxury neighborhood of Gangnam is south of the river. Other affluent areas Seongbuk-dong, Pyeongchang-dong and Hannam-dong, popular with executives, diplomats and celebrities. Expats and overseas property investors mainly hail from Japan, China and the United States.

Jeju is Korea’s largest island. It’s off the country’s southwest tip. Direct flights from major international Asian destinations have attracted not only mainland Koreans but Japanese, Chinese and Taiwanese to the coastal lifestyle.  Jeju is known for a community of traditional female divers who plunge into the waters without masks to harvest shellfish. The Jeju Haenyeo--women divers--have been named to the UNESCO Cultural Heritage list.

Korean architecture integrates nature into design, even in the most urban environments like Seoul where high-rise residences are the most common form of housing. The most traditional Korean home is the hanok, built of materials like timber and stone and naturally environmentally friendly. Countless hanok homes were demolished to make room for apartment buildings and office towers, but in recent years they’ve made a comeback, becoming a favorite of architects and homebuyers


Korea Sotheby's International Realty

153-55 Samseong-dong
Gangnam-gu, Seoul Si, Seoul Si, 06166 South Korea