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Speculators let high-end apartments pass   2009-11-10 - VietNamNet/TT

It is expected that some 22,500 apartments will be available from now through the beginning of 2010. While real estate developers plan to launch their products, potential buyers find it difficult to borrow money, want to avoid resale taxes, and prefer properties with high liquidity.


'The Vista' project in district 2, HCM City

In October 2009, Lilama SHB kicked off two projects targeting medium-income and high-income earners. These include the Saigon Lilama SHB Town in Tan Phu district with 340 apartments and also the 584 Lilama SHB Plaza project, which will produce 1,218 apartments.


CBRE, a real estate consultant firm, stressed in its latest market performance report for the third quarter of 2009 that a large number of apartments will be available from the fourth quarter of 2009 to early 2010. CBRE estimated that 44 housing projects with 22,500 apartments will be marketed.


Other projects have been or will be on the market, including Cantavil complex (second phase) with 200 luxury apartments, Tan Tao Plaza with 360 apartments, An Lac Plaza with 284 apartments, and Belleza with 968 apartments.


According to CBRE, the best sellers are those priced at $650-810 (11.7-15 million dong) per square metre. Apartment prices have increased by 1-3.4 percent over the second quarter of 2009. Those in areas with developed infrastructures have increased 3-8 percent.


CBRE also revealed that buyers are pausing before purchasing high-priced apartments.  Economic analysts warn that purchasing power may be lower than expected by real estate developers. Even speculators hesitate to invest because now it is more difficult to obtain bank loans. They worry that if they pour money into real estate, their capital may be “buried” in the apartments.


Meanwhile, real estate developers are under heavy pressure to sell spaces as soon as possible to pay their bank debts.


A director of a real estate trading floor in HCM City said that other speculators have a “wait-and-see” attitude since they have to pay high personal income taxes when they resell the apartments.

The director also mused that high grade apartments cannot catch attention from investors now, even when offered at original prices. He added that investors tend to target apartments with low to medium price levels because of their higher liquidity.


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