Land ‘fever’ starts to break, prices expected to move sideways

By Trung Tin, Duc Minh   May 1, 2021 | 03:00 am PT
Land ‘fever’ starts to break, prices expected to move sideways
‘Land for sale’ in Hon Quan District in the southern province of Binh Phuoc in February 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan.
Land prices are showing signs of cooling down in both the south and north following months of intense speculation.

According to a recent survey by VnExpress, land prices in five districts of Binh Chanh, Nha Be, Hoc Mon, Cu Chi, and Can Gio in HCMC, have been moving sideways for the last four weeks or so after increasing by 3-20 percent in the first quarter.

In mid-April, a few transactions took place in Can Gio, Nha Be and Binh Chanh at prices higher than in late March, and otherwise they remained unchanged.

In the southern provinces of Long An, Binh Duong and Dong Nai, prices have remained the same since March-end. In Dong Nai the transactions mainly involved townhouses.

The three also saw a few deals at prices 2-3 percent lower than in late 2020.

In Binh Phuoc, the "fever" in late February and early March also cooled down within two weeks. In April, many real estate agents offered lands at 30-40 percent lower than during the peak period.

The market for lands and land-related assets in the coastal tourist destinations of Ba Ria - Vung Tau, Phan Thiet, Khanh Hoa, and Da Nang too did not change much in April.

In the north, land prices around Hanoi and its neighboring provinces remain flat as people become cautious.

Hoc, a property broker, said the number of phone inquiries about lands has reduced from dozens a day to just a few now. "Many people even took back their deposits."

Nguyen Quoc Anh, deputy director of real estate site Batdongsan, said land prices are leveling off after the sharp rise in the first quarter caused by the shifting of cash flows from the stock market and the spread of rumors about development plans or status upgrade to town or city.

A "fever" like that only lasts one or two months usually, he added.

Nguyen Van Dinh, general secretary of the Vietnam Association of Realtors, said the market has stabilized again thanks to the government’s efforts.

"As the government monitored and issued warnings, investors started to calm down, causing the market to cool down," he said.

The State Bank of Vietnam is tightening lending to the property sector.

The government is developing social housing to provide people with places to live, especially for workers in industrial zones.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has ordered the administration to examine land administration procedures in 26 provinces and cities.

The ministry has urged local governments to publicize information about the progress of housing and infrastructure projects to prevent rumors.

But experts said there would be no sell-off.

Anh pointed out: "Buying land is a long-term investment." He was certain the market would continue to move sideways for the next two quarters.

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