Different Housing Types in Korea: Villas, Single Houses, Apartments, and Officetels

Seoul night view

Are you planning to rent or buy a property in South Korea, particularly in Seoul? If so, you may encounter various types of housing, including villas, single houses, apartments, and officetels. Each of these terms may have different meanings and features compared to what you’re used to in your home country. In this article, we’ll explain the basics of each type to help you make an informed decision.


In Korea, a villa typically refers to a low-rise building that has two to five stories and contains several units. It can either be a single-family home or a townhouse, depending on the size and layout. Villas are usually located in urban areas but in quieter neighborhoods, making them ideal for those who want to live in the city but prefer a more residential environment.

Villas are popular among families and individuals who value privacy and space. They offer more room compared to apartments and allow residents to have their own outdoor space. Additionally, some villas may have fewer rules and regulations compared to apartments, giving tenants more freedom to customize their living spaces.

Single House

A single house in Korea is a standalone building that is not attached to any other houses or buildings. It’s similar to a detached single-family home in Western countries. Single houses are often found in suburban or rural areas, although there are some in urban areas as well. Not having to deal with other attached homeowners, single houses are the perfect place for single-home rentals and for those who prefer a quiet life.

Single houses typically do not have a management office, which means that the owner or tenant is responsible for maintenance and upkeep. This can be a disadvantage for some, but it also gives residents more control over their living spaces. Single houses often have yards and gardens, making them ideal for families with children and pets.


An apartment in Korea is a multi-story building that contains several units. It’s similar to an apartment or a condominium unit in other countries. Apartments are often found in urban areas, particularly in Seoul and other major cities. They’re ideal for those who want to live in the city and have easy access to public transportation, shopping, and other amenities.

Apartments usually have a management office on site, which provides security and convenience. They may also offer amenities like a gym or swimming pool, depending on the building. However, residents may have to follow more rules and regulations compared to those living in villas or single houses.


Officetel is a unique type of housing in South Korea that combines the functions of an office and a residence in a single building. It’s a portmanteau of “office” and “hotel”. An officetel unit typically includes a small office space and a residential area that features a kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping area. The office space can be used for various purposes, such as a home office, a small business, or a studio. Officetel for rent is the best housing option for those who prefer to work at home with comfort in their surroundings.

It’s important to note that some officetels may not allow residents to use the officetel address on their alien registration card, as some officetels are registered as office spaces.


Understanding the different types of housing in South Korea is crucial if you’re planning to rent or buy property in the country. Villas, single houses, apartments, and officetels each have their unique advantages and disadvantages, depending on your personal preferences and needs. Before making a decision, consider factors such as location, privacy, space, maintenance, and amenities. With this knowledge, you can make an informed decision and find the right home for you.

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