Foreign ownership of South Korean land slightly expanded in the first half of the year from six months earlier, the government said Friday.
The amount of land owned by foreign entities came to 232.23 million square meters as of end-June, up 1.7 percent from 228.27 million ㎡ tallied at end-2015, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
The amount accounted for 0.2 percent of the country's total area, with the value of the land estimated at 32.26 trillion won ($26.89 billion).
South Korean expatriates held 54.1 percent of the total land owned by foreign entities, slightly down from 54.5 percent six months earlier, the ministry said in a press release.
Joint ventures accounted for 32.3 percent of the total, followed by foreign companies and foreign individuals with 8.4 percent and 5 percent, respectively.
By nationality, individuals or companies from the United States owned 118.38 million ㎡ of land, accounting for 51 percent of the total.
Europeans came next with 9.2 percent of the total, followed by Japanese and Chinese entities with 8.1 percent and 7.2 percent, respectively.
By region, Gyeonggi Province saw its foreign ownership of land jump by the largest margin of 2.42 million ㎡ over the cited period, while the amount of land owned by foreign entities in Seoul shrank 150,000 ㎡.
The southern resort island of Jeju, which had seen a steady increase in foreign ownership amid a surge in Chinese investment, saw its foreign ownership of land decrease by 220,000 ㎡ from six months earlier. (Yonhap)