$83,000 apartments disappearing from suburbs too

By Ngoc Diem   October 15, 2023 | 08:48 pm PT
$83,000 apartments disappearing from suburbs too
Apartment blocks in the west of Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
People in Hanoi are finding it increasingly difficult to buy apartments priced at VND2 billion (US$83,300) with falling supply driving up prices in the last five years.

With VND1.6 billion in her bank, Van An, 28, of Ha Dong District has been looking for an apartment to buy for months, but found nothing costing VND2 billion or less.

The smallest unit, measuring 66 square meters, she saw cost VND2.8 billion, or more than VND40 million per square meter, she said.

In 2019 her elder brother’s family managed to buy a two-bedroom apartment on To Huu Street, Ha Dong, for VND1.5 billion.

Apartments costing VND2 billion have disappeared from central districts, over the past three years and suburban areas are now gradually following suit.

An apartment project near Ly Son Street, Long Bien District, has opened for sale at prices starting at VND37 million per square meter. A two-bedroom apartment thus costs around VND3 billion.

Not far away, a new tower in an apartment complex in the Sai Dong Urban Area is offering units for sale at some VND50 million per square meter, which puts two-bedroom apartments in VND3.3-billion territory.

Real estate consultancy Savills said in a recent report that the proportion of low-cost apartments has been falling sharply in recent years, pointing out that they accounted for half the supply in 2015.

Data from the Vietnam Association of Realtors showed affordable apartments are absent from the primary market in the third quarter of the year.

Of residential property products launched during the quarter, high-end apartments accounted for 47%, the mid-priced segment for 39%, and luxury apartments, townhouses, villas, and land plots for the rest.

Real estate consultancy CBRE said in a report that the average price of apartments opening for sale in the third quarter increased by nearly 7% quarter-on-quarter and 14% year-on-year to VND51 million per square meter.

Over 90% of new supply was in the high-end segment, and mostly in the large urban areas of Nam Tu Liem District and Gia Lam District.

Nguyen Quoc Anh, deputy general director of real estate trading website Batdongsan, said finding affordable apartments in big cities, even in their suburban districts, is difficult now.

The average price of affordable apartments has soared to VND30 million per square meter in Hanoi and VND35 million in Ho Chi Minh City, he said.

In 2018, affordable apartments were available for less than VND25 million per square meter, and high-end apartments cost around VND40 million, which meant people could buy a two-bedroom apartment for around VND2 billion in central areas such as Cau Giay, Hai Ba Trung and Thanh Xuan districts, he said.

"However, it is very difficult today to buy a new apartment for VND2 billion. Nationally their prices have increased by 15% in the last two years."

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