When people are moving to Seoul, they would be curious about the city. There will be so many things to consider and worry about and sometimes it is not easy to collect information people want about the new country or new place. Recently we briefly check some important aspects and we wish to provide you with those information. We hope the information below is useful before moving to Seoul.
How is the rental housing market?
The current availability of housing is good. Obviously there are more “peak” seasons during the summer months. But Seoul provides for a steady rotation of expatriate assignees and a good supply of housing. As many old apartments have been reconstructed and more apartments are about to be reconstructed, there are good supply of brand new apartments in Gangnam and Yongsan areas. However, rent prices for those brand new apartments are relatively higher.
How is the temporary housing market?
Temporary housing can be referred to serviced residences (apartments). Currently there is a shortage of available units in serviced residences but with adequate notice accommodation can be located. If non-serviced residences are referred for short-term stay, this is also available but typically is limited to smaller studio or one bedroom properties. Standard lease terms are 24 months. Of course, shorter lease term of 12 and 6 months are available as well but the selection would be limited.
What information can be shared in regard to personal security?
Living in Seoul and other cities in Korea is quite safe, actually much safer than most large cities in the US and most of Asia. Obviously people have concerns regarding the geopolitical situation between North and South Korea. We provide an honest assessment to people and respond to their questions. Essentially and regardless of what many people glean from news and the internet, the situation is quite stable.
Schooling – Is there availability at the international schools?
Schooling is primary concerns for all families relocating to new countries. There is limited space in most grade levels in the preferred schools in Seoul. Popular international schools are Seoul Foreign School, Yongsan International School of Seoul, Dulwich College, Dwight School and Korea International School. Korea International School is little further from Seoul. It is important that parents first explore the schooling situation before any commitments are made. Schools should be able to inform you about the availability if you provide them with grade levels and birth dates of the children. In many cases no guarantees can be provided until such time as applications are submitted and the schools can review such.
We hope this article helped you learn little bit about Korea, specially Seoul. You may also want to check our other post on Rental Practice in Seoul, Korea: Standard Lease Term, Housing Market in Seoul, Korea: Brand New Apartment, and International Schools in Seoul, Korea.