Monday, June 7, 2010

Arrested Redevelopment

Seoul Metropolitan Government is considering changing construction laws : to prevent whole areas from lingering away because of struggling redevelopment plans, the said plans could be automatically cancelled after a certain period of time.

Sounds like common sense, but that's a courageous step to curb real estate speculation in a country where home value is the main concern.

Typically, Seoul reached the point where not one single dong is spared from rumors of redevelopment, and many areas seem in a weird limbo : everybody is bracing for a redevelopment which will never happen because the equation doesn't add up. People were sold a mirage, cannot afford to move, and actually start regretting the good old days.

No wonder OH Se-hoon waited until after the elections to mention the project : if this reform passes, many areas are bound to see their value plunge, but that's only a virtual loss (except for speculators), and a necessary step to deflate the bubble and get some sanity back on the market. Certain places shall switch to more reasonable concepts, like
human towns, others restart from scratch.

And who knows, some may even realize the value of previously doomed hanoks or charming alleyways and decide to preserve what's truly priceless.

Seoul Village 2010

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