HCMC apartments least affordable in Southeast Asia: survey

By Dat Nguyen   December 19, 2023 | 05:00 pm PT
Ho Chi Minh City ranks first in Southeast Asia in terms of property price-to-income ratio, showing that its apartments are least affordable in the region, latest data shows.

Of nine cities surveyed in the region, HCMC topped with a ratio of 36, followed by the Philippines’ Manila at 35.7 and Thailand’s Bangkok at 31.8, according to a survey by price-tracking platform Numbeo.

A higher price-to-income ratio indicates lower affordability.

Cambodia’s Phnom Penh ranked fourth at 29, followed by Indonesia’s Jakarta at 20 and Hanoi at 18.5.

It costs on average $4,700 to buy one square meter of apartment in HCMC center, 7.2% higher than in second-place Manila, said Numbeo, which bases its calculations on data provided by contributors. The figure is double that of Hanoi.

HCMC also ranks first in price-to-rent ratio in the city center at 37, followed by Bangkok at 31.8 and Singapore with 30.3.

Analysts have said that residential property prices have been surging in recent years in HCMC as developers prioritized building high-profit luxury units, leaving the affordable segment with almost zero supply.

The average cost of an apartment in the mid-priced segment in HCMC with an area of 70 square meters and two bedrooms and two toilets is VND4-4.5 billion, according to data from real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield. This is 16-17 times the average urban household income.

A survey by property consultancy Savills found that, without financial support from the family, the minimum income required to buy a house in HCMC is VND30-45 million (US$1,270-1,900) a month.

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