Vietnam cuts size limit for apartments to reach low-income buyers

By Ngoc Tuyen   May 8, 2017 | 12:14 am PT
Vietnam cuts size limit for apartments to reach low-income buyers
At a 30-square meter social apartment in Binh Duong Province. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
The construction ministry has approved a developer’s request to build 25-square-meter apartments.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Construction has given the go-ahead for a real estate developer to build apartments as small as 25 square meters (270 square feet) to attract low-income earners.

The ministry’s Housing and Real Estate Market Management Department, in a letter issued late last month to a domestic developer, said the firm would be allowed to build 25-square-meter apartments before the ministry sets new national standards for apartment sizes.

Vietnam’s construction law from July 2015 abolished a previous requirement that set the minimum area for an apartment at 45 square meters, but did not stipulate a new limit.

In December 2015, a government decree on developing houses for low-income earners came into force and set the minimum area at 25 square meters. Decrees often requires guidance from related ministries before they are implemented.

Construction businesses and provincial authorities have been seeking permission to build commercial houses of 30-40 square meters to attract individuals, small families and low-income buyers, and the permit has been granted given the huge demand, the construction ministry said.

Binh Duong Province, an industrial center neighboring Ho Chi Minh City, last year launched 5,000 apartments as part of its housing program for low-income people, and has started construction of another 10,000 units.

Vietnam currently has 2.2 million people working in industrial parks, but only 20 percent of them have their own homes, according to the construction ministry.

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