South Koreans' acquisition of overseas real estate jumped in April from a year earlier, surpassing the US$100 million mark for the second month in a row, government data showed Sunday.
According to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, South Koreans purchased 225 land lots and buildings in overseas countries for $103 million in April, up from 42 purchases worth $33 million a year earlier.
The April tally represents a slight monthly increase in the number of new real estate purchases, but a decline in terms of their value. In March, South Koreans acquired 193 pieces of land and buildings abroad and paid $111 million in total value.
"Purchases of overseas real estate declined sharply since the subprime mortgage crisis in July 2007, but it is beginning to rebound," a ministry official said.
Southeast Asia was the most popular destination in April for South Korean real estate buyers, who purchased $18 million worth of 147 land lots and buildings.
Acquisition of real estate in North America, however, declined to 57 cases worth $43 million in April from 87 cases worth $75 million in March.
Ninety-five percent of offshore real estate buyers were retail investors, with institutional or corporate investors accounting for a mere 5 percent, it said.