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Is rent expensive in Korea?


Korea has been in the spotlight for many years now, with its booming economy and advanced technology. However, living costs in Korea have been a concern for many people, especially expats. One of the major expenses that people have to deal with is rent. In this article, we will explore whether rent is expensive in Korea or not.

Factors that Affect Rent Prices in Korea

Several factors affect rent prices in Korea, such as location, size of the apartment, age of the building, and amenities. The most expensive areas to live in are usually the central districts of Seoul, where property prices are higher. Apartments in these areas can be small and expensive, which drives up the rental prices.

Rent Prices in Seoul

Seoul is one of the most expensive cities to live in Korea. According to Numbeo, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is around 1,000,000 KRW (approximately $900). However, prices can vary depending on the location and size of the apartment.

Rent Prices in Other Cities

Rent prices outside Seoul are generally cheaper than in the capital city. For instance, renting a one-bedroom apartment in Busan can cost around 500,000 KRW (approximately $450) per month. Other cities like Daegu and Daejeon have even lower rent prices.

Types of Accommodation

In Korea, there are various types of accommodation available. Apart from apartments, there are officetels (a combination of office and hotel), goshiwons (dormitory-style rooms), and guesthouses. Officetels and goshiwons are usually cheaper than apartments but come with smaller living spaces.

Additional Costs

Apart from rent, there are other costs associated with living in Korea. These include utilities, maintenance fees, and key money (a large deposit paid upfront before renting an apartment). Key money can range from 5 million KRW to 50 million KRW depending on the location and size of the apartment.

Salary and Cost of Living

The cost of living in Korea is generally considered high, but it should be noted that salaries in Korea are also relatively high compared to other developing countries. While rent prices may seem expensive to some, the high salaries can help make up for it.

Foreigners and Renting in Korea

Foreigners may face some challenges when renting apartments in Korea. Some landlords may require a Korean guarantor, which can be difficult for foreigners to find. Additionally, some landlords may not accept foreigners due to language barriers or cultural differences.

Real Estate Market Trends

The real estate market in Korea has been volatile in recent years. In 2019, new government regulations were introduced to curb rising property prices. However, these regulations have led to a decrease in supply and an increase in demand, which has driven up rental prices.

Future Outlook

It is difficult to predict the future of rent prices in Korea. With the volatile real estate market and government regulations, prices can fluctuate rapidly. However, it is expected that rent prices will continue to rise in the near future.


In conclusion, rent prices in Korea can vary depending on several factors such as location, size of the apartment, and amenities. While Seoul is generally more expensive than other cities, there are cheaper alternatives available. Foreigners may face some challenges when renting apartments in Korea, but with the right resources and information, it is possible to find affordable accommodation. It is important to keep abreast of the real estate market trends and regulations to make informed decisions when renting in Korea.

Is it expensive to live in Korea?

It is a fact that South Korea is a costly nation, with its capital city Seoul often appearing among the most expensive places to reside in. In the Mercer Cost of Living Survey for 2022, Seoul ranked 14th out of 227 cities.

How much is average rent in Korea?

As of February 2021, the typical cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment in Seoul, South Korea was approximately 510,000 South Korean won per month, which is an increase from the previous month’s average of around 480,000 South Korean won.

Is it expensive to rent in Korea?

A small officetel studio in South Korea can be rented for a minimum of 300,000 KRW (250 USD) per month, while the average cost in large cities is around 500,000 KRW (425 USD) per month.

Is $100 dollars a lot in South Korea?

Based on my personal experience in Itaewon, spending US$100 per day is sufficient, but it is a bit pricier compared to other parts of Seoul, so bargaining is necessary.

How long can a US citizen stay in South Korea?

From April 1, 2023, to December 31, 2024, US citizens traveling to Korea for tourism or business purposes are exempt from obtaining a Korean Electronic Travel Authorization (K-ETA) if their stay is 90 days or less. However, a visa is still required for other purposes such as employment, teaching English or for stays longer than 90 days.

Can a US citizen move to South Korea?

As long as you are well-prepared prior to arrival, moving to South Korea can be a relatively easy process. Despite the country’s history of being hesitant towards foreign migration, this sentiment has shifted as more international companies are welcomed into the country.

Another important factor to consider when renting in Korea is the lease term. Most leases in Korea are for two years, and breaking the lease early can come with hefty penalties. It is important to carefully consider the lease term before signing a rental agreement.

When looking for accommodation in Korea, it is also important to consider the transportation options available in the area. Living near a subway station or bus stop can make it easier to get around the city and can save on transportation costs.

Additionally, it is important to factor in the cost of food and other daily expenses when considering the overall cost of living in Korea. While there are many affordable options available, dining out and buying imported goods can be expensive.

Despite the challenges, renting in Korea can be a great experience for expats and locals alike. With its vibrant culture, excellent public transportation, and high standard of living, Korea offers many opportunities for those looking to make a home in a new country.

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