By Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein
According to DailyNK, prices of real estate are skyrocketing around the wholesale market in Pyongsong, whose trade is tightly connected to that of the richer Pyongyang:
“The price of a unit in this building near Yokchon-dong, located near the railway station and a major road leading to Pyongyang and Sinuiju, has sharply risen to 60,000 USD from 40,000 USD. Although the building is not in the center of the city, many wholesale vendors want to buy these homes, resulting in the price jump,” a source in South Pyongan told Daily NK on January 4.“The residential property is attractive to major market heavyweights even though it wasn’t built recently. Ease of transportation seems to be the major pulling factor.”Pyongsong City is home to Doksan Farmers’ Market (formerly Pyongsong Market), the largest wholesale market in the nation. The market is constantly busy with merchants from other regions because it not only offers trade in commodities but also deals with the labor market, foreign currency, and the services sector.Previously, the real estate trade was prohibited in North Korea, but the authorities have tacitly permitted it since the 1990s, with an increasing number of people now purchasing houses. Due to restrictions in North Korea that make it difficult to move about freely, merchants prefer to reside closer to the market.“In the past, Okchon-dong was more popular because the General Market was located in it. But there were many problems because it was difficult for the wholesale merchants with big vehicles like trucks to come and go along the narrow roads. For this reason, Yokchon-dong became more popular because they can directly unload their cargo near the residential area, which is located at a major transportation hub,” an additional source based in Pyongsong said.