Multi-million dollar apartments catch super-rich's eyes

By Vu Le   June 19, 2022 | 05:00 pm PT
Multi-million dollar apartments catch super-rich's eyes
Views from an ultra-luxury apartment in HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Le Van
Wealthy people are splurging millions of dollars to buy ultra-luxury apartments mostly as second homes.

Hoa, owner of a house and a villa in HCMC’s Thu Duc City, said she recently bought a VND30-billion (US$1.3 million) apartment.

Located on the 27th floor of a luxury project, the 200-square-meter unit offers unobstructed views of the Saigon River.

It had four bedrooms, but Hoa took one down to expand the kitchen and living space.

She topped it off with bespoke interiors at a cost of over VND5 billion, including a VND1 billion lighting system imported from Italy, two exotic paintings that cost hundreds of millions of dong and a $20,000 speaker system.

It took her over a year to finish decorating, she said.

"The apartment’s beautiful views, convenient car parking and relaxing atmosphere make it the ideal place for me to entertain friends and guests,"

A broker has asked to buy her apartment for VND35 billion, but she refused.

"I want to keep it for myself," she said.

Truong, an experienced investor, bought a penthouse in the heart of District 1 as a second home besides his 300 sq.m villa in the south of the city.

The 200-sq-m unit cost him VND25 billion and another VND8 billion for decoration and interiors, he said.

"I spent VND33 billion on this unit because of its amenities, security and views. I can watch firework displays right from here, something that townhouses and villas cannot provide."

Rising trend

Luxury apartments have recently become very popular with successful businesspersons, NeloDécor, an architecture and interior design firm specializing in high-class properties, said.

The company has just finished decorating a $2-million sky villa for an entrepreneur for VND12 billion.

Previously it designed and built the interiors for a penthouse for an affluent family, which cost $2.5 million to complete and another $1 million for interiors and smart devices.

A living room of a multi-million dollar apartment in HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Le Van

A living room of a multi-million dollar apartment in HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Le Van

It is not uncommon for affluent people to spend $1-2 million for buying an apartment in the central business district and hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars more for decorating and doing the interiors, NeloDécor CEO Le Duy Van said.

They are mostly super rich and already own multiple properties, and so have extensive demands, he said.

Amenities, security and views are key factors for them while choosing to buy, he said.

Most of them hire designers, but some design on their own, and are ready to knock down and rebuild multiple times until they are happy.

Pham Lam, CEO of property consultancy DKRA Vietnam, agreed that demand for luxury apartments is rising.

In some cases, properties serve the same purpose as expensive jewelry and supercars, he said.

Rising supply

Consultancy Cushman & Wakefield expects supply of luxury apartments in HCMC to rise this year, especially in the central business districts and Thu Thiem Peninsula.

Their prices will surge, too, with new projects constantly rising to record levels, it said.

Average price tags for luxury apartments surged by 23 percent year-on-year to VND143.6 million per square meter in the last quarter of 2021. For ultra-luxury properties, they went up to VND400 million.

Eddie Lim, CEO of real estate developer Viva Land, said the number of rich people in Vietnam is rising faster than the global average.

Vietnam is expected to have 1,551 ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) by 2026, compared to 1,234 last year, according to an estimate contained in a Wealth Report released by U.K. property consultancy Knight Frank.

The company also predicts that the number of rich people, or those with a net worth of $1 million or more, including their primary residence, will rise sharply by more than 59 percent from last year to 114,807 in 2026.

The Vietnamese luxury apartment market is also promising for foreigners, especially rich Asians, thanks to the country’s rapid economic growth and more competitive pricing than Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and China.

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