Of course, one bit of information about this, which Antti noted back in September of 2006, was left out:
Dongbu Ichon-dong resident Kim Ji-na says her apartment value edged up about 20 million won (approximately $21,000) two summers ago at a time when the central Seoul, riverside area's overall real estate prices were at a standstill. What was the magic factor?
"The only recognizable change was that my apartment had gotten a brand facelift,'' she said. From plain "Daewoo Apartment'' to "Prugio,'' the Daewoo Engineering and Construction apartment buildings were slapped with fresh paint and a newly designed logo. [...]
Samsung E&C, the first builder to front its apartment brand "Raemian'' in 1998, enjoyed a significant boost in its properties' value, which triggered others, including Hyundai, Daewoo, POSCO and GS, to follow the same strategy.
And those efforts gave birth to GS' "Xi,'' Hyundai's "I-Park'' and "Hillstate,'' POSCO's "The # (Sharp) and Samsung's "The Tower Palace,'' all of which boast a luxurious image, posh living and unconventional design.
A recent piece of news in Hankyoreh was that apartment blocks are forbidden to repaint their old names to match the "apartment brands" that the original construction companies are currently sporting. [...] Seems that those already did the repaint job are allowed to remain so, while the future offenders are levied a hefty fine of five million won (4000 €). (What is 5 mil W compared to anticipated housing price hikes?)It would seem, considering the price hike mentioned above, that this rule is being ignored.
For an example of rebranding, here's a shot of a (very ugly - I like the green translucent covers on the balconies) Shin-donga apartment near my house taken in 2005:
Here's a shot of the same apartment taken a few days ago, now branded as Shin-donga "파밀리에" (Familie):
If having a look around the Familie website doesn't convince you of the degree to which apartments have become consumer items in Korea, perhaps this ad at a bus stop near Mapo Gu-cheong station for Hyundai's Hillstate apartments (in Paju) featuring Ko So-young will help:
The icing on the cake is the ad for home tutoring taped to the Hillstate ad - the two largest drains on household finances together at last!