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Foreign ownership of land rises 1.3%

The total amount of land foreigners held as of June this year rose by 1.3 percent, compared to December last year, to 256.7 square kilometers.

That is equivalent to 0.2 percent of South Korea’s entire land area, according to the Land Ministry on Friday. The total value was 31.6 trillion won ($26.5 billion).

Foreign ownership spiked in 2014 and 2015, jumping by 6 percent and 9.6 percent on-year respectively, but the annual increase has remained between 1 and 3 percent since then.

US nationals hold 136.75 million square meters of land or 53.3 percent of all the land foreigners own. That is the highest, followed by the Chinese with 7.9 percent, Europeans with 7.1 percent and the Japanese with 6.5 percent.

Gyeonggi Province accounted for 18.2 percent of the foreign-owned land, followed by South Jelloa Province, North Gyeongsang Province, Gangwon Province and Jeju Island.

About 67 percent of the land was used for farming, while 22.8 percent of it was employed for industrial use. The remainder was used for recreational and residential purposes.

By Choi Si-young (