Ghost town de luxe: Saigon's unmanned villas

By Son Hoa   July 6, 2016 | 09:12 pm GMT+7

Saigon seems to have money to burn - and property to waste.

Overgrown lawns, moss-covered walls, pools of water... hundreds of luxury villas have been left vacant in Saigon for almost a decade, each one of them worth at least $200,000.

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In Thanh My Loi Ward, District 2, Saigon, there are hundreds of abandoned villas.

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Most of them are shells, left unfinished after their construction where plants are growing out of hand. “It is really scary walking around here at night because no one is living in this area” said Lan, a local resident.

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Water has built up inside some of the villas.

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Phan Huy, a real estate agent, said people have little interest in buying these villas. “Depending on the size, each villa has a different value, the cheapest ones are around $200,000, but the top-end properties should go for around $450,000 - $700,000. To be honest, at those prices, no one would want to move there,” Huy said.

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One luxury residential project covers 174 hectares, and was handed to 15 investors by the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City from 2004-2012.

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At the An Khang - Phu Huu residential area, there are 350 luxury villas. Very few people actually live there. People have even sealed up their windows with bricks to build nests for birds.

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One home owner had to build fences and block the entrance to prevent drug users from squatting.

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According to real estate experts, investors thought the Long Thanh - Dau Giay Expressway would increase property prices in the area, but then the market plunged and many villas have been left abandoned.

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The roads in this area remain incomplete, and with other residential areas offering reasonable prices, many buyers have changed their minds. Investors had to borrow money from banks to build the villas, but have been unable to sell them.

 
 
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