Experts call for lowering floor price of 3,790 unused apartments in HCMC

By Vu Le   March 4, 2023 | 12:00 am PT
Experts call for lowering floor price of 3,790 unused apartments in HCMC
The Thu Thiem Relocation Area in HCMC’s Thu Duc City in March 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
The floor price for the auction of 3,790 apartments in HCMC, which remain unused since 2015 following three unsuccessful auction bids, should be lowered to sell then, experts said.

The auctions in 2017, 2018 and 2021 attracted no bidders because the reserve prices of VND8.8 trillion (US$370.96 million), VND9.1 trillion and VND9.9 trillion were considered too high.

The price for the next auction, to be held soon, has not been announced, but experts said it should be lower, the 3,790 apartments should not be auctioned as a single lot or the apartments should be converted into social housing to make them more attractive to prospective occupants.

The apartments are in a relocation project, meaning they were built for people whose properties were acquired by the government for public use. It is in Thu Duc City.

Le Hoang Chau, president of the Ho Chi Minh City Real Estate Association, said the fourth auction, expected to be held this year, would face unfavorable conditions including the low housing demand and market liquidity, and degradation of the apartments.

"Lowering the starting bid, auctioning them in small batches, even single apartments, and providing credit support could be the solutions in 2023."

Huynh Phuoc Nghia, a senior consultant at the Global Integration Business Consultants Company, said it would be easier for the authorities to sell the apartments if they renovate and convert them into social housing units.

People who buy the social housing units should be given soft loans, he added.

The Binh Khanh Relocation Area is part of a 12,500-apartment relocation plan for people who used to live in the Thu Thiem Urban Area.

But they were either unable to pay for the apartments or could not wait for construction to finish, and so no one moved into them.

It costs VND71 billion a year to maintain the buildings, according to the city Department of Construction. But without revenues, maintenance has been a problem over the years, leading to their steady deterioration.

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