Uneven development of housing and real price increase in South Korea

“The Economist house-price indices”

The Economist has provided interesting visualisation of housing price index for 27 economies and 20 cities in the US. They have correctly identified that “FINANCIAL media focus most of their attention on stocks and bonds, but the world’s biggest asset class is actually residential property. With an estimated value of about $200trn, homes are collectively worth about three times as much as all publicly traded stocks.” Property wealth is what underpins most people’s prospect of well-being.

According to the data, Britain has seen a 211% real price increase of real estate between 1986 and 2017. I assume this is the national average, and London would have experienced a much higher increase. In South Korea, 30% increase in real price terms between 2000 and 2017, but 0% increase between 2009 and 2017. After the 2008-9 global financial crisis, it may be hypothesised that South Korea has experienced a greater degree of uneven development of housing market, which concentrates on Seoul and other major metropolises.

The Economist 데이터 시각화 정보에 따르면, 한국의 부동산 가격이 일단 2000년도에 비하면 2017년 4분기 현재 무척 (30%) 오른 것으로 나온다. 2009년에 비해서는 0%. 이는 전국 평균 가격일 가능성이 높으니, 불균등 발전에 따라 서울과 지방의 차이, 또는 대도시와 군소도시의 차이 등을 볼 수는 없는 데이터인 듯. 오히려 2008년 금융위기 이후 전국적으로 불균등 발전이 더욱 심화되었으며, 이것이 0%로 수렴되었다고 봐야 하지 않을까 싶다. 부동산 가격에 대한 체감지수, 언론의 관심은 대부분 수도권, 특히 서울을 대상으로 할 때, 위의 데이터에 근거해서 그다지 오르지 않았다고 결론을 내리는 것은 서울과 대도시의 특수성을 간과하게 되는 듯 해서 서울/대도시 중심의 부동산 이데올로기를 더욱 공고히 하는데 기여할 듯 싶다.

반면 영국은 2000년 대비 82% 실질가격 상승으로 나타나는데, 1986년과 비교해 보면 실질가격 기준 211% 상승한 것으로 나타난다. 런던 가격을 따져 보면 이보다 훨씬 더 많이 상승했을 것이라 생각한다.

From The Economist (2018)

My first memory of David Harvey – How he shared his working draft with MSc students


David Harvey, 2000, Towards a Theory of Uneven Geographical Development

I met David Harvey in person for the first time while auditing his course during my MSc study at the LSE in 1999/2000 academic year. I think the course was simply called “Historical Geographical Materialism” or something similar. It was one of the few courses that sounded anything like Marx at the LSE, and I was drawn towards it. After having had my several years in the private sector after my first degree, I was in thirst of input by progressive scholarship. I did not know David at the time, as I knew few geographers by then. It was a small seminar course, having only about 12-13 students, with discussions for two hours or so each week. Readings included his own work and the works of Gramsci, Lefebvre and more that I cannot remember. If my memory is correct, he used to occupy a small office where he held his office hours. Now that I think of it, it was too small a room for such a figure like David, equipped with fairly empty bookshelves, a desktop and a printer. It wasn’t filled with books, as I presume he was at the LSE at the time on a three-year stint and did not relocate completely. The office is what is numbered as S509 at present, and coincidentally, it happened to be my office during my first year or so as professor at LSE.

One day during the term, he came in with copies of handouts, and he told us it was a working draft of his new paper. I think he was inviting any comments from his students. The draft paper was entitled “Towards a Theory of Uneven Geographical Development”. Another week or two later, he brought a thicker version of the same paper, revsied substantially but still a working version, and this time, its title read “Working Notes Towards a Theory of Uneven Geographical Development”. While clearing an old ring binder from my MSc/PhD period, I came across with the paper copy again, and realised this draft actually was the basis for his 2006 Verso book Spaces of Global Capitalism: Towards a Theory of Uneven Geographical Development”, first published as Spaces of Neo-liberalization by Franz Steiner Verlag in 2005. As the course took place in the spring of 2000, it must have taken another 4-5 years for the paper to be substantially revised, perhaps presented at several academic occasions, before it came out as a book. The memory of him sharing his paper is still vividly within me, and I appreciated a distinguished professor like David willing to share unpolished version of his drafts and inviting postgraduate students to comment on them.

Origin of ‘Gentrification’ – confusing reference to 1888 publication

젠트리피케이션이라는 용어가 처음 사용된 것이 1888년 ‘영국 맨체스터 인문학 및 철학협회 백서’란 문헌이라는 설명을 듣고 뒤적여 봤습니다. 결론은 해당 문헌을 다운받아 단어검색을 한 결과 (단어검색을 허용합니다 – 스캔을 잘 했더군요…), 찾을 수 없다는 것이었습니다.

I come across with this occasional statement that the first use of ‘gentrification’ can be found in “Memoirs and Proceedings of the Manchester Literary & Philosophical Society” published in 1888. For instance, Jordi Nofre’s 2013 article says:

“Although the term ‘gentrification’ can be origi- nally found in Memoirs and Proceedings of the Manchester Literary & Philosophical Society written in 1888 (Atkinson & Bridge 2008), it acquired a contemporary meaning when the British sociologist Ruth Glass (1964) used it in her book London: Aspects of Change”. 

However, Atkinson & Bridge (published not in 2005, not 2008) does not appear to have made any such claim.

A recent column by a Korean urban planner in a Korean newspaper also contains a similar statement: “이 용어는 1888년 ‘영국 맨체스터 인문학 및 철학협회 백서’란 문헌에서 처음 사용됐다”

You can actually access and download this Memoirs and Proceedings from this link below:


The PDF copy allows word search, and you can quickly search for ‘gentry’ or ‘gentrification’. Nowhere in the book can you find the expression.