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Construction in South Korea - statistics & facts

The construction sector is a major industry in South Korea, contributing around 90 trillion South Korean won the country's GDP. The cost of construction work has steadily increased over the past decade alongside the increasing demand for residential or overseas construction projects. Furthermore, the Moon government announced the Urban Renewal New Deal project and finalized the target regions across the country. Accordingly, the construction industry is expected to play a big role in creating smart cities and revitalizing the urban economy in the next years.

Residential construction permits made up the largest proportion of more than 223 thousand permits issued in 2020. The largest number of permits for housing was issued in the Gyeonggi province, surrounding the capital city of Seoul. This province contains many commuter towns for people with jobs in Seoul. Around seventy percent of these permits were for the construction of new apartment complexes, with apartments ranging between 40 and 85 square meters in size.

Overseas construction projects also make the construction sector a major export industry. Foreign entities contract with the major Korean construction companies to build buildings and facilities for them. A notable example is the Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai, U.A.E., which is currently the tallest structure in the world, built by Samsung C&T. Alas, Korean builders have seen orders decrease in recent years. The total value of overseas orders was around 35 billion U.S. dollars in 2020. More than a half of these were from Middle Eastern countries, followed by Asian countries. The majority of overseas construction orders were for industrial facilities, such as plants.

Samsung C&T is by far the leading construction company in South Korea, with building capacity estimated to be better than Hyundai E&C. Despite falling overseas orders, Samsung has seen its consolidated sales revenue increase significantly in recent years, rising from around five trillion won in 2014 to over 30 trillion won in 2020.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 24 most important statistics relating to "Construction in South Korea".

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