More than 1 million people applied for three units at a new apartment complex in Seoul’s Gangnam area, showing how demand for properties in the affluent area remains strong despite broader weakness in South Korea’s real estate market. 

The upscale apartments, called The H Firstier IPark, had formerly been a shabby, four-decade-old complex that was reconstructed by Hyundai Engineering and Construction and HDC Hyundai Development Co. The three units that came up for sale are particularly attractive because they are being offered at the pre-sale price four years ago rather than the market rate.

In South Korea, it is common for people to buy new apartments even before construction starts as it is cheaper, with the buyer paying in increments over the following years. Due to severe competition, government regulations stipulate that larger households or those who have not owned property for a long time should have priority for such apartments. 

The three units in the complex came up for sale after pre-sale buyers backed out of the deals, according to the Korea Real Estate Board, a state-run agency. 

As the units are already completed, they are exempt from the regulations that prioritize certain households. Another selling point of the apartments is their proximity to private education centers and sought-after public high schools in Gangnam.

The successful bidders will be announced on Thursday.