Famous Seoul retail strip Myeongdong’s vacancy rate exceeds 40%

Photo from Inside Retail Asia

By Inside Retail Asia

With strong social distancing measures enforced to limit the spread of the coronavirus, the number of vacant commercial properties in South Korea is on the rise – and rents are falling.

And nowhere is it being felt as bad as in the famous Myeongdong shopping district where the vacancy rate has reached 43.3 per cent. That compares to 31.9 per cent in Itaewon and 22.6 per cent in the Hongdae/Hapjeong neighbourhood.

The Korea Real Estate Board has reported a 9.5 per cent vacancy rate for large-sized stores and a 6.5 per cent vacancy rate for small shops across Seoul.

The surging vacancy rate in the prime shopping districts is attributed to an increasing number of store closings following a steep drop in the number of foreign tourists.

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