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  • Why are Korean celebrities selling their properties? – The Korea Herald

 May 25

by Carolina

For South Korean celebrities, making headlines for property investment has long been a sign of success.

The global popularity of Korean movies, television and K-pop has allowed A-listers to rake in cash and purchase properties in Korea’s most coveted locations.

But stars such as actors Kim Tae-hee and Ha Jung-woo have reportedly sold those properties in recent months. Industry watchers have called the offloadings “profit-making moves” before the government’s stricter real estate rules on non-residential properties took effect.

And their moves apparently paid off.

Kim, who purchased a five-story retail property near Gangnam Station in June 2014 that was worth 13.2 billion won ($11.7 million) at the time, reportedly sold it for 20.3 billion won in March. She raked in 7.1 billion won from the deal.

For Kim, this was apparently a small step, as the actress and her husband Rain –- who tied the knot in 2017 –- owned a reportedly combined 81.4 billion won worth of real estate properties as of 2020. Their portfolio includes properties in Seoul and a home in Irvine, California, according to reports.

Ha made roughly 4.6 billion won in profit when he reportedly sold his commercial building in western Seoul –- with Starbucks as a key tenant –- in March. He bought the building for 7.3 billion won in July 2018 and sold it for 11.9 billion won.

K-pop singer Soyou hopped on the bandwagon after she reportedly sold off her building in western Seoul’s hip Yeonnam-dong which she purchased for 1.5 billion won in 2016. She sold it for nearly double the price in April. The former member of girl group Sistar renovated the building into a retail property after purchasing it as a home.

Actress Han Hyo-joo is one of the investors who made the earliest moves, selling her property in central Seoul for 8 billion won last November, after buying it for 5.5 billion won in 2017, according to reports.

The celebrity selling spree comes as the Moon Jae-in administration widened the scope of properties subject to lending restrictions, including debt service ratio and loan-to-value ratio restrictions, to include land, shopping arcades and officetels — multipurpose buildings with both residential and commercial units.

The LTV ratio was raised to 70 percent for lenders seeking to borrow money from all local financial institutions, making it harder for them to make real estate investments.

The Moon Jae-in administration’s real estate policies have so far been focused on housing properties — in an effort to tame the nation’s heated housing market — by implementing higher taxes on those who own multiple homes and stricter mortgage regulations.

By Jung Min-kyung (mkjung@heraldcorp.com)

Original posted at www.koreaherald.com

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