How Big are Apartments in Korea?

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    Half of Korea’s population lives within the metropolitan area of Seoul. Due to the limited geographical space in Korea, it is very rare to find stand-alone houses and most people live in apartments in Korea. The size of an apartment in Korea is measured in units called pyeong. One pyeong equals approximately 3.3 square meters or 35 square feet. A 10 pyeong apartment is about 33 m2 or 356 ft2. Apartments in Korea are separated into a few categories of building types: aparts (아파트), officetels (오피스텔), and villas (빌라). There are a few other smaller categories, but we’ll stick with the main three.

    Villas are three to five story buildings that vary in size and layout. The units inside can significantly differ from building to building, and the buildings are typically older. In terms of Korean apartment size and price, villa apartments tend to be a good overall value and tenants can get a larger place for the same cost as a similar officetel apartment. A studio apartment will usually be from 5 – 15 pyeong (16.5m2 – 49.5m2 or 178ft2 – 534ft2). A one bedroom unit ranges from 10 – 18 pyeong (33m2 – 59.6m2 or 356ft2 – 640.5ft2). Two bedroom villa apartments will vary from 16 pyeong – 25 pyeong (53m2 – 83m2 or 569ft2 – 890ft2). Three bedroom places are generally 27 pyeong or more (89m2 or 960ft2).

    Officel apartments are similar to villas but are generally newer high-rise buildings with a few room layouts duplicated on each floor. Usually these will be studio or one bedroom units. Apartments in these buildings will usually be about 10-20% more expensive than a similar size villa apartment. The sizes will be comparable to villa units for studios (5 – 15 pyeong = 16.5m2 – 49.5m2 or 178ft2 – 534ft2) or one bedroom apartments (10 – 18 pyeong = 33m2 – 59.6m2 or 356ft2 – 640.5ft2).

    Apartments in “apart” buildings are larger units that consist of 2-4 bedrooms with 1-2 bathrooms. These units are designed for families and are often in newer high-rise buildings. These apartments are 50 pyeong and up (165m2+, 1,779ft2+).

    The layout of the apartment is very important in Korea since some apartments have much more useable space than others. Seeing the apartment in person is best. If that’s not an option, make sure to get a video with lots of detailed pictures of both the inside and outside of the building before you make your decision about where to live in Korea.


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