Low apartment prices, high returns make HCMC a magnet for foreign investors

By Vu Le, Dat Nguyen   August 16, 2018 | 10:30 pm PT
Low apartment prices, high returns make HCMC a magnet for foreign investors
35,000 new high-end apartments have come to market in HCMC from 2015-2017, according to CBRE. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
High-end properties in HCMC, where prices are much lower than in major cities in neighboring countries, are attracting plenty of foreign interest.

A high-end apartment in the city costs around $5,000 per square meter, but the same one in Hong Kong could cost four times, Nguyen Khanh Duy, director of residential sales at real estate service provider Savills HCMC, said.

Buyers from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong last year accounted for 25 percent of transactions by foreign buyers, up from 21 percent in 2016, according to data from real estate consultancy CBRE Vietnam.

“Chinese buyer demand for Vietnam properties in the first quarter of 2018 was more than 300 percent higher than the first quarter of 2017,” said Carrie Law, chief executive of the online Chinese real estate agency Juwai.com.

The country is still lower on the preference list than Thailand or Malaysia, but demand is growing, the South China Morning Post quoted Law as saying.

According to Duy, what attracts many of these buyers to the country, and HCMC in particular, is the high return on property.

It is currently 5-6.5 percent in Thao Dien ward and Thu Thiem Peninsula in District 2. This is higher than in other Asian countries, where returns are only 3.7-5.2 percent, he noted.

Duy said the high returns and competitive prices of high-end properties are drawing high-income Vietnamese and international buyers to the city.

The demand for high-end properties has been increasing and surpassed supply, and so there is potential more of this type of development in the next three to five years, he added.

A CBRE report said the high-end segment accounts for the highest proportion of new launches in the second quarter -- 54 percent.

In the last three years 35,000 luxury apartments have come into the market, UK newspaper Financial Times quoted CBRE as saying.

This is a major increase on 2012-14 when fewer than 10,000 units were on offer, CBRE said.

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