Korea doesn’t receive as much attention as other Asian countries when it comes to real estate investment. Yet, you shouldn’t ignore this country.
With promising demographics and a GDP per capita that will surpass Japan’s in a couple of years, Korea has an interesting future ahead.
Still, you can only find a limited amount of local developers. At least in comparison to places like China and Singapore.
In this article, I’ve listed some of the biggest property developers in Korea. I will explain when they established, about the founders, what kind of property they build, and more.
Let’s have a look.
1. Dongbu Corporation
Established in 1969, Dongbu Corporation is one of the oldest and most well-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 in 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 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
a. In 2005, the company was ranked third in the national housing industry, for their redevelopment projects in Seoul.
b. In 2011, it won the “Korean Architecture Award” for the Incheon Children Science Museum.
c. In 2009, it won the “Condominium Resident Satisfaction Excellence Award” by the Ministry of Land, Transport, and Maritime Affairs.
d. 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. They offer 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 a current 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.
Hyosung is mostly known for their high-end apartments and has won several awards in the past years.
Awards & recognition
a. They won the grand prize in the Multipurpose Building category in 2017 by Green Construction Industry Awards.
b. In 2016, they were recognized by the Prime Minister at Korean National Sharing Awards.
The real estate subsidiaries of Hyosung Corporation develops 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 own 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.
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.
Glass Tower, Level 20
534 Teheran-ro, Gangnam-gu
Republic of Korea
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”.
Shinyong 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
Korea, Republic of (South)
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 construction of two million houses.
Korea Land and Housing Corporation develops 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 much as 40,000 houses and apartments.
They’re currently developing the Smart City and other innovative cities in the country.
Korea, Republic of (South)