HCMC serviced apartments suffer Covid-19 induced slump

By Dat Nguyen   April 24, 2020 | 05:31 pm PT
HCMC serviced apartments suffer Covid-19 induced slump
Apartment buildings in Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by Shutterstock/NDQ.
The HCMC serviced apartments market saw Q1 average occupancy drop 17 percent year-on-year due to travel restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

First quarter occupancy was 66 percent, and average prices fell 2 percent to $24 per square meter per month, ending the rising trend in recent years, according to a recent report by real estate service firm Savills.

In February, some landlords stopped short-term leases to limit the spread of the virus.

As the government limited travel and restricted immigration, many prospective tenants canceled their bookings in March, resulting in an occupancy rate of less than 50 percent in most complexes.

Vietnam stopped issuing new working permits for foreign workers in March. Of around 68,000 foreign workers in Vietnam, 37 percent had not returned to the country as of March due to the travel restrictions in place.

"Serviced apartment performance is highly correlated to foreign direct investment. With borders closed and many expatriates at home, short term performance is suffering," said Troy Griffiths, deputy managing director of Savills Vietnam.

Savills forecasts demand will continue to fall in all serviced apartment segments in upcoming months with the pandemic still going strong in many countries.

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