BTS, Song Hye-kyo and IU: 9 Korean Stars And Their Expensive Properties
From BTS members to Song Hye-kyo, and IU—here are the Korean stars who own expensive properties in upscale neighbourhoods
With fame comes fortune. With the rise of K-pop, K-dramas and K-mania going strong, several Korean stars have also amassed wealth that allowed them to purchase and own expensive properties, whether it's a penthouse suite or an entire building in the most affluent districts in South Korea.
Every time these famous stars splurge on new properties, it always catches the attention of fans. Read on to find out more about their property purchases.
Editor's note: This list is not exhaustive and the figures are taken from publicly available information on the estimated prices that were converted from Korean won.
Named as the winners of the 2020 Global Recording Artist of the Year Award, it's no surprise that BTS also own stylish abodes. Both RM and Jimin have recently purchased an apartment each within the upscale Nine One Hannam complex, which is often called the 'Beverly Hills of Korea' and is one of the most expensive apartment complexes in Seoul. According to Korean media, RM's apartment costs around US$5.7 million for about 293.93 square metres of space while Jimin spent US$5.3 million for an apartment of the same size.
RM previously bought a US$4 million apartment in Hannam The Hill, the same residence where BTS lives as a group and one of the most exclusive apartment buildings in Asia. Jimin had also bought an old apartment complex before, worth US$3.9 million in Banpo Jugong, a prime spot located near the Han River. When the apartment undergoes restoration and remodelling, the value is likely to increase.
Meanwhile, Jungkook purchased a house in Itaewon early this year. The two-storey house is priced at US$7 million (worth more than the group's home) and spans around 230.72 square metres. It's located about five minutes away from RM and Jimin's new apartment. Before this, he bought a US$2.3 million apartment in Seoul Forest Trimage but has sold it since.
Other members of the group have also purchased lavish homes in recent years. Jin bought his own apartment in Hannam The Hill. The property is said to cost about US$3.4 million and was a gift to his parents with them holding 35 per cent of the property's ownership. Before that, Jin bought a 614 sq ft unit in 2018 worth US$1.5 million and eventually sold it in 2019.
Rapper Suga bought an apartment in UN Village for about US$3 million. This complex has a prime location thanks to its proximity to the Han River, a popular tourist destination. On the other hand, V bought a property in Apelbaum, Gangnam, that is worth US$4.55 million and spanning about 283 square metres. The location is popular among Korean artists and celebrities for its tight security and stunning views of the Han River.
J-hope is the first amongst the group to own an apartment located in Seoul Forest Trimage, a luxury apartment complex, way back in 2016. It's reported to cost around US$1.2 million and has since increased in value.
Famed K-pop soloist and actress IU recently purchased a penthouse flat in Cheongdam, an affluent neighbourhood in Seoul known for having some of the most expensive properties in the country; she reportedly spent US$11.7 million for this abode. The residential unit in Eterno Cheongdam is still under construction and is expected to be completed by September 2023.
Upon completion, Eterno Cheongdam is set to become South Korea's most expensive property with its top floors—the penthouse units—costing US$26.5 million each. The lavish 20-storey residential complex is designed by Pritzker Architecture Prize winner, Rafael Moneo, and is his first project in Asia.
Currently, IU is living in the 56-storey Raemian Caelitus apartment complex in Yongsan district, which is also famous for its Han River views. Properties in this residential area are valued between US$2.6–3.3 million.
Hallyu star Song Hye-kyo is one of the most sought-after actresses and highest-paid stars in South Korea. It's been reported that the actress recently invested US$17.5–19.5 million in a seven-year-old building in Hannam. Song also owns three buildings in the affluent Samseong-dong, Gangnam neighbourhood. In 2020, she reportedly sold one of her properties for US$7 million.
Kim Tae-hee and Rain
Besides the power couple that they are, Kim Tae-hee and Rain are also the Korean kings and queens of real estate; they were listed as the richest Korean celebrities in real estate in 2020 by Entertainment Weekly Live. The couple reportedly owns US$72 million in real estate value.
Even before marrying pop star Rain, Kim already owned three buildings in Gangnam that are collectively valued at US$12 million, while Rain also has several properties of his own. He has a villa that costs US$5.3 million, and a shopping centre in Cheongdam priced at US$21.4 million. The couple lives in a two-storey house in Hannam, which they bought three months before getting married for US$4.4 million.
According to Korea Times, Kim sold a building in Gangnam in March—which she bought all the way back in 2014—for a cool US$6.37 million. Meanwhile, Rain's six-storey property in Cheongdam, which he bought in 2008, skyrocketed in value after renovation in 2017. He's reported to have earned US$26 million in profit from the sale. Presently, his namesake label as well as a cafe, restaurant, and other businesses, operate there.
The couple's property extends beyond South Korea; they also purchased a US$2 million house in California in 2019.
K-drama fanatics will certainly know who Son Ye-jin is, but her wealth and popularity have definitely skyrocketed following the success of Crash Landing On You (CLOY). The Korean star now has a Hollywood debut in the line-up, and has been named a Valentino brand ambassador; she also has plenty of other beauty endorsements which have increased her wealth.
Son currently owns a US$14.4 million commercial building in the upscale Gangnam district. The six-storey building houses several beauty-related enterprises. Before the popularity of CLOY, Son had already purchased a US$8.2 million building back in 2015, in the Mapo district in Seoul before selling it three years later for US$12 million.
Both Song and Kim are already on this list, so it's no surprise that the last member of the iconic "Tae-Hye-Ji" trio, Jun Ji-hyun, also owns lavish properties. As one of the iconic names who kickstarted the Hallyu wave across Asia, Jun has amassed quite a fortune through the course of her career. She's reported to have a total of US$66.4 million in real estate wealth, and is said to have purchased a US$28.5 million building in Gangnam in cash.
In 2007, she bought a US$7.1 million building in Nonhyeon, Gangnam, and in 2013, she purchased a US$4.8 million building in Incheon. In 2014, Jun revealed that she owns a US$14 million building in Nonhyeon and purchased a US$3.6 building in the same area a year later. Before Jun's hiatus—her last project was The Legend of the Blue Sea—she's reported to have earned an average of US$84,000 per episode. Her commercials added another US$11.9 million to her fortune. Jun is currently set to return to the small screen this year with a new mystery thriller Cliffhanger.
Big Bang's G-Dragon and Taeyang
Being the "kings of K-pop" that they are, Big Bang members G-Dragon and Taeyang own several luxury properties in South Korea. Chanel ambassador G-Dragon is one of the richest K-pop stars, notably owning Cafe Mônsant, a cafe in Jeju Island. The singer also directly participated in the development, designing, and planning of the concept behind Jeju Shinhwa World, a resort complex that's also located on the island. G-Dragon also owns a number of buildings. One of them is Galleria Foret, a luxury big-ticket purchase priced at US$27 million. In 2017, he also became the owner of a building worth US$8.8 million.
Meanwhile, Taeyang also owns a US$3.75 million villa in UN Village and in 2020, bought a new apartment in Hannam for US$13.2 million.
The nation's "first love" as she's called, Bae Suzy owns a luxury building in Samseong, Gangnam. Due to a slew of beauty and fashion endorsements as well as her popularity as an actress and as a member of former girl group Miss A, Bae has amassed a significant fortune and now owns an apartment valued at US$3.7 million. She's also ranked number one on the list for female idols with the most expensive homes according to Mnet's TMI News.
Although Lee Jong-suk's 89 Mansion cafe has closed down, the popular Korean actor still has plenty of assets in his real estate portfolio. He currently owns a villa within the Nine One Hannam complex priced at US$4.2 million, and three other properties in Hannam worth US$13.6 million. He bought an abandoned building in Sinsa for US$4.5 million which became 89 Mansion, though he has since sold it and reportedly earned US$2.3 million from the transaction.