Liquidity dries up in southern townhouse market

By Vu Le   November 24, 2022 | 08:24 pm PT
Liquidity dries up in southern townhouse market
Real estate projects in the Thu Thiem Area in the eastern part of HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
Only 38 townhouses and villas were sold in the southern region in October despite discounts of up to 50%, down 89% year-on-year.

Property consultancy DKRA Vietnam's s report on townhouses and villas in HCMC and the provinces of Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Long An, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, and Tay Ninh shows the townhouse market continued to slow down in October.

Supply fell by 72%.

In the primary market, some developers offered buyers discounts of up to 50%, but customers seemed to merely wait for the price to fall even further.

In the secondary market too, some sellers offered big discounts of VND200-500 million ($8,068-20,170) per unit to attract buyers.

DKRA said there are no signs that the market would look up any time soon after sales since the third quarter have remained sluggish.

The marketing department of a real estate trading floor in HCMC's Thu Duc City that sells townhouses and villas in Binh Duong and Dong Nai said there were no sales in October though the number of townhouses offered for sale doubled from September as people needed to recover capital.

Chau, a broker operating in the east of HCMC and neighboring provinces, said liquidity had been low in October.

"I haven't had any sales in the past few months. Customers want price quotes but do not want to physically come and check out the property."

A project in Thu Duc has been up for sale since the third quarter and the developer is all set to hand over the houses along with the pink books in the fourth quarter, bust there are few takers, he said.

Developers need to offer discounts, promotions and others to get people interested, he said.

The director of a real estate distribution floor in Long An Province said there have not been many transactions around Ben Luc and Long Hau since the start of the fourth quarter.

People selling in the secondary market mostly have money problems, and so are selling at 15-20% less than at the beginning of 2022.

Nguyen Loc Hanh, CEO of HCMC real estate firm Ngoc Chau A, said there has been little liquidity across the market since the second quarter.

Townhouses and villas are especially hard to sell because of their high prices, he said.

He said high prices and trouble getting bank loans are the two main reasons why liquidity has gone down in the townhouse segment, but people also worry that the market would decline further in the fourth quarter and 2023 and want to keep cash in hand.

In fact, the market is moving toward the idea that "cash is king," he said.

"At the moment the market only seems to have buyers looking for housing to live in or investing for the long term and with their own money. The bargaining is intense. Short- and medium-term investments have dried up."

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