It’s a 15-square-mile neighborhood whose astronomically pricy real estate makes it more valuable than all of Busan, Korea’s second-largest city, put together. All of Seoul’s major transportation lines converge there. All of Korea’s biggest and most influential companies are headquartered there. All of the wealthiest scions of Korea’s superclans — the families that run the egregiously powerful conglomerates known as chaebol, which include global brands like Samsung and Hyundai — live there. And, as Hong points out, 41 percent of attendees to prestigious Seoul University come from Gangnam: “Imagine if 41 percent of Harvard University undergrads came from a single neighborhood,” she says. This, in a country with the third-highest level of income disparity among industrialized nations, according to the OECD.
Although South Korea's real estate market suffered a drop this year as a result of the economy, Gangnam's apartment prices keep on rising, especially this past month -- likely influenced by the sudden phenomenon of the song "Gangnam Style", which has put the trendy Seoul district in the global conversation.
Part of the reason it's so catchy is that it sounds vaguely like LMFAO and vaguely like "Are You Ready for This?" but is different enough to still be interesting.
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