Kore has a developed and large-sized real estate market that is well-known for struggling with ever-increasing prices, a reason why the government has informed new measures to curb investments.
With that said, there aren’t that many foreign property developers operating in Korea, you can mainly find a handful of big local companies that control the market.
Many foreigners ask what the biggest and most popular real estate developers are in Korea, therefore I’ve written this article where I list the most renowned brands.
1. Dongbu Corporation
Established in 1969, Dongbu Corporation is one of the oldest and most recognized property developers in Korea. It’s part of one of the country’s biggest conglomerates, the Dongbu Group.
The company has several subsidiaries working in real estate, manufacturing, shipping, insurance, chemical industry, and finance. Some include DB Insurance (Forbes 2000 Company), DB Savings Bank, DB Hitek, and DB Capital.
Dongbu Corporation was founded by Junki Kim as Miryung Engineering & Construction but later changed its name to the Dongbu Corporation in 1989. The head office is based in Seoul.
In addition to Korea, they’ve developed several infrastructure projects in other parts of the world.
The company is known for its big infrastructure projects and for building government offices in Saudi Arabia. Many of these are award-winning projects.
Mr. Jung-Gil Lee is the current chairman of the company, having around 1,000 employees.
Awards & recognition
- In 2005, the company was ranked third in the national housing industry, for their redevelopment projects in Seoul
- In 2011, it won the “Korean Architecture Award” for the Incheon Children Science Museum
- In 2009, it won the “Condominium Resident Satisfaction Excellence Award” by the Ministry of Land, Transport, and Maritime Affairs
- In 2002, the company built the first condominium in Korea with night-time lights, the Garak Centerville, and won the “Seoul Architecture Award”
Dongbu Corporation offers a wide range of services. The company offers construction, procurement, and other engineering services for industrial plants, power & energy, and civil infrastructure.
They build everything from commercial buildings, sports complexes, and real estate projects like condominiums, mixed-use housing, resorts, and hotels.
Dongbu Corporation owns a popular condominium brand known as “Centreville”. It also owns a mixed-use development brand, “Centreville Asterium”. In total, they’ve completed ten condominium projects under their “Centreville” brand and two mixed-use projects under the Centreville Astrium brand.
In addition, they’ve developed several resorts (Namae Resort Complex), golf courses (Rainbow Hills), shopping malls (Fashion Mall, Seoul), and mixed-use projects (Oryudong, Seoul).
Dongbu Financial Center, 891-10, Daechi-Dong, Gangnam-Gu, Seoul, South Korea
Hyosung Corporation is one of the biggest industrial conglomerates in South Korea that owns multiple subsidiaries working in IT, trade, chemical industry, industrial machinery, and real estate.
Hyosung Corporation was founded in 1966 with annual revenue of around USD 17 billion. They have more than 25,000 employees, which is impressive.
The company owns two subsidiaries that work in real estate: Hyosung Construction PU that develops residential and commercial projects and Chinhung International Inc. that builds residential, commercial, infrastructure, and different government projects.
Mr. Hyeon Jun Cho and Gyu Yeong Kim are the co-presidents of the company. The company is mostly known for its high-end apartments and has won several awards in the past years.
Awards & recognition
- The grand prize in the Multipurpose Building category in 2017 by Green Construction Industry Awards
- In 2016, Hyosung was recognized by the Prime Minister at Korean National Sharing Awards
The real estate subsidiaries of Hyosung Corporation develop residential projects, infrastructure projects, and industrial projects.
Their residential projects include apartments, condominiums, residential & commercial mixed-use complexes, and villas.
- Majestower Donong
- Jinju Gesman The Rubens
- Majestower Ulsan II
- Gangnam Harrington Court (Terrace Houses/Villas)
- Daegu Jung-dong Harrington Place
- Yongin Bora Harrington Place
119, Mapo-daero, Mapo-gu, Seoul, Korea
3. Kangwon Land
Kangwon Land is a casino and resort developer in Korea. It was founded in 1998 as a casino and resort company, but now owns multiple subsidiaries that include High1 Entertainment Inc., High1 Sangdong Theme Park Inc., and High1 Chooco Park Inc.
The company has its headquarter in Jeongseon-gun, Gangwon province. The federal and provincial government has shares in the company and the current CEO is Hahm Sung-hee.
The company originates from the Kangwon province where it’s located and it was previously famous for being a coal mining area. During the 1970s and 1980s, Korea experienced a coal rush as it quickly developed, spurring the demand for coal.
The province saw great economic declines when oil and gas replaced coal in the 90s. To save the economy, the local community managed to convince the government to construct a large-sized domestic casino instead.
Today, Kangwon Land runs two condominium projects with 403 rooms, two hotels with 674 rooms, a ski resort with 18 slopes, an 18-hole golf course, and a casino with 132 table games and 960 slot machines on 2,800 acres of land.
Kangwon Land develops and manages casinos and resorts, to cater to foreign tourists. 16 out of 17 casinos are reserved for foreigners only.
In addition, they develop hotels, theme parks, and recently started to develop residential projects with mostly condos.
They own several hotels including Kangwon Land Hotel that has 477 rooms.
- Mountain Condo
- Valley Condo
- Hill Condo
Sabuk-ri 424, Sabuk-eup, Jeongsun-gun, Gangwon-do
Founded in 1957, Hines is one of the oldest and most well-known real estate development and investment companies in the world. It’s based in Houston, Texas (the US) but operates in 24 countries and in 201 cities.
Hines is a real estate management firm that currently has USD 111 billion of real estate assets under its management. The company currently employs more than 4,000 people.
Gerald D. Hines is the founder of the company. In 2008, he won the lifetime achievement award from Harvard University for the First Visionary Leadership in Real Estate Development.
They’ve developed, redeveloped, and acquired more than 1,250 properties all over the globe. In addition, they currently manage more than 500 properties.
The South Korea office was established in 2013 in Seoul. Mr. Yong C. Lim is the managing director and has been working with Hines since 2009. The company serves as a real estate investment company in Korea instead of a developer.
Office, industrial/logistics, retail, multifamily, living/housing, and land development.
- 2330 Broadway (New York, the US)
- 100 East 53rd Street (New York, the US)
- 1225 Old Town (Chicago, the US)
Glass Tower, Level 20 , 534 Teheran-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 06181
5. Shinyoung (Greensys)
ShinYoung Greensys Co Ltd. is a leading real estate development company based in Seoul. It was founded in 1984 as ShinYoung, but later changed name to ShinYoung Greensys Co. Ltd.
The chairman of the company is Mr. Choon Bo Jeong and they’ve won several awards for their projects in the past years.
In 2008, they won the best award at the 12th Comfortable Apartment Selection Festival, by the Mall Business. In the same year, they also won “the Best Business Ethics Award”.
ShinYoung develops residential, commercial, office, and mixed-use projects. Their residential projects include housing complexes and large apartment buildings.
They’ve developed one mixed-use project, four residential complexes, 27 apartment projects, 13 office buildings, 2 shopping malls, and one serviced residence project.
- Buldang Gwell The Sharp
- Woongcheon GWell II
- Pyeongtaek Bijeon Gwell Prugio
- Cheongju Gwellcity Prugio
- Cheongju Technopolis Gwell
- Pyeongtaek Bijeon Gwell Terrace
- Ulsan Songjung Gwell Prugio
52-1 Samseong-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, 135-090
6. Korea Land and Housing Corporation
Korea Housing Corporation was founded in 1962 and was a government-owned real estate developer. In the same year, the company developed the first-ever apartment complex in Korea, called Mapo. They’ve built more than 2.6 million houses (both apartments and houses) in Korea since 1962.
In 1975, the state-owned Korea Land Corporation was founded. In 2009, both Korea Housing Corporation and Korea Land Corporation were merged into one company, the Korea Land and Housing Corporation.
It currently has more than 6,100 employees, while the head office is based in Jinju City. The company has 9 divisions, 1 research institute, and 47 departments. They own several subsidiaries and apartment brands, that include A Thousand Trees, Jugong Green Vile, Tranchae, and Hummonsia.
The CEO of LH is Sang Woo Park. In 2009, it became the first real estate developer to complete the construction of two million houses.
Korea Land and Housing Corporation develop large housing projects, apartment complexes, and even entire cities. In addition, they develop high-tech industrial complexes, schools, and other infrastructure projects like roads and bridges.
Some of their housing projects consist of as many as 40,000 houses and apartments.
They are currently developing the Smart City and other innovative cities in the country.
19 Chungui-ro, Jinju-si, 52852, Korea, Republic of (South)
7. HDC Hyundai Development Company
Hyundai Development Company was established in 1976 but split into HDC and HDC Hyundai Development Company as late as 2018. While HDC is an investment company, HDC Hyundai Development Company focuses on developments in infrastructure.
It’s by far one of the biggest companies in Korea with operations domestically as well as overseas. Some examples of their projects overseas include:
HDC Hyundai Development Company is claimed to have the biggest expertise for completing private housing in Korea.
Residential property, infrastructure projects (bridges, roads), ports, plants, and more.
Examples of projects built by HDC Hyundai Development Company include:
- Construction Work for Gore-Tepi Road, Ethiopia: 2019 – 2023
- Coastal Road, Mumbai, India (250,000 sq.m.): 2018 – 2022
- Perak Bridge, Malaysia (1,154 m): 1986 – 1988
8th, 9th floors, HDC IPARK Mall, 55, Hangang-daero 23-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul