BMI View: South Korea's highly developed commercial real estate market will continue to benefit from a welcoming business environment and increasing foreign investment. O n the demand side , though, a slowdown in China and faltering private consumption could limit appetite for new space across the board. Nonetheless, the outlook for South Korea's commercial real estate in the longer term is bright, as a result of the country's highly developed retail industry and economic diversification strategies.
Real GDP is set to grow slowly but steadily over our forecast period to 2019, increasing by 2.8% in 2015 before rising to 3.4% a year between 2016 and 2019. This should set to scene for continued stability in the commercial real estate market. Low interest rates will also be supportive to investment. However, risks are weighted to the downside. The major risk is a sharper-than-expected economic slowdown in China, South Korea's largest trade partner. This could cause a fall in export opportunities, as well as a decline in consumer confidence and spending. This fear, as well as rising household debt and a downbeat outlook for private consumption, means demand for commercial real estate will be lacklustre in the medium term.
The capital, Seoul, has a strong commercial real estate market across the board, with significantly higher costs than the other cities that we cover. Seoul's office real estate in particular is expensive, as a result of the large stock of premium quality space in this regional business hub. In Busan and Daegu, meanwhile, the retail market is notable for its healthy growth, leading to high rents for retail space and growth in opportunities in that sub-sector.
Growth in the office real estate market is set to be fairly muted over the medium term, with transactions expected to be mainly in the small and medium end of the market. Seoul will remain the main focus of the country's office real estate market, attracting the most investor interest as well as the highest rents. Investment will mainly come from local firms, including chaebols, although they are increasingly investing overseas in order to reduce risks.
The outlook for the South Korean retail real estate market is stable, with a steady pipeline of new developments due to open and robust consumer spending continuing to create demand. While the prevalence of large-scale shopping centres and hypermarkets means that some retail formats are nearing saturation point, we are looking to smaller formats, for example convenience stores, to drive growth in the sub-sector. However, an unexpectedly sharp economic slowdown China would have a strong negative impact on South Korean consumer confidence, and could thus constrain the growth of the retail real estate sub-sector.
We see key opportunities for industrial real estate investors in providing space to serve the country's thriving retail sector, and also in the provision of high quality warehousing and logistics space for the high-tech industry and exporters. Although some areas of the industrial real estate field may be hit by a slowdown in China, the premium end of the market is set to do well, crucially serving domestic demand, meaning the rental outlook over the long term is positive.
South Korea is seeing increasing investment from overseas. The country's robust and predictable political system and relatively transparent business environment are attractive to investors, while a sense that the strength of the chaebols within the South Korean economy is declining means that the industry is more open to investment. The existence of real estate investment trusts in the country provides a way for investors to enter the commercial real estate market at relatively little cost.
The South Korea Real Estate Report features BMI Research's market assessment and independent forecasts of major construction projects in the residential and commercial markets, plus rental prices and yields in major cities. The report critically analyses the prospects for real estate within the broader economic and financial context - both domestic and global - via our econometrically-modelled and clearly explained banking and economic forecasts and follows this through to evaluate the implications for REITs.
BMI's South Korea Real Estate Report provides industry professionals and strategists, sector analysts, business investors, trade associations and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on the real estate industry in South Korea.
- Benchmark BMI's independent real estate industry forecasts for South Korea to test other views - a key input for successful budgeting and strategic business planning in the Korean real estate market.
- Target business opportunities and risks in South Korea through our reviews of latest industry trends, regulatory changes and major deals, projects and investments.
- Assess the activities, strategy and market position of your competitors, partners and clients via our company profiles (inc. SWOTs, KPIs and latest activity).
BMI Industry View
Summary of BMI’s key industry forecasts, views and trend analysis covering real estate and construction, regulatory changes, major investments and projects and significant national and multinational company developments.
Industry SWOT Analysis
Analysis of the major Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats within the real estate sector and within the broader political, financial, economic and business environment.
Industry Forecasts Outlook
Historic data series (2010-2013) and forecasts to end-2019 for the domestic real estate industry and for the local and global finance industry.
- Real Estate: Office, retail and industrial real estate yields for all major cities (%); short term forecasts on minimum and maximum real estate rental prices by sub-sector (USD per square metre and local currency per square metre).
- Construction: Industry value (USDbn); contribution to GDP (%); employment (‘000); real growth (%).
- economy: Economic growth (%); nominal GDP (USDbn); unemployment (%); interest rates (%); exchange rate (against USD).
BMI’s Real Estate Risk Reward Index
BMI’s Risk Reward Indices provide investors (real estate vendors, construction companies and financial investors) looking for opportunities in the region with a clear country comparative assessment of a market’s risks and potential rewards. Each of the country markets are scored using a sophisticated model that includes more than 40 industry, economic and demographic data points to provide an indices of highest to lowest appeal to investors, with each position explained.
Overview of the real estate sector, including analysis of existing/planned real estate developments and emerging industry trends in the office, industrial and commercial sectors
Features detailed city-level data and analysis on rental prices, yields, contract terms and real estate availability with separate chapters covering the office, retail and industrial sub-sectors.
Examines the competitive positioning and short- to medium-term business strategies of key industry players. Strategy is examined within the context of BMI’s industry forecasts, our macroeconomic views and our understanding of the wider competitive landscape to generate Company SWOT analyses. The latest financial and operating statistics and key company developments are also incorporated within the company profiles, enabling a full evaluation of recent company performance and future growth prospects.
*Company profiles are not available for every country. Those reports instead contain information on the current activities of prominent companies operating in the market.