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Small apartments: easy to build, easy to sell   2010-05-18 - Nguoi lao dong

Separate small apartment blocs are best sellers now and have helped warm up the lagging real estate market.



According to real estate firms, more and more investors want land plots with an area of 5000-7000 square metres. A land owner of a 7500 square metre plot in HCM City reported that just two days after he placed a newspaper advertisement, at least 20 people came to ask about the plot.


“Most of them were investors who want to cooperate. I hold the land, while they will build apartments to sell. We will share the profits,” he explained.


Some investors maintain that land plots of 5000-7000 square metres or even 1000-2000 square metres are very suitable for building apartment buildings. On a small area of land, investors can build 100-200 apartments that are 50-60 square metres each.


Investors look for land in districts far from the centre of HCM City that have good transportation infrastructure with prices of 11-15 million dong per square metre.


Small apartments can be easily sold because of their lower prices (less than 800 million dong) and investors claim, the smaller, the better.


Many investors have shifted to building mini-apartments, because they are easier to build and sell. In general, these projects require less administrative procedures, plus, as they are located in urban areas, investors do not have to worry about building schools or roads.


Nguyen Xuan Loc, Deputy Director of Vinaland, suggested that small apartments fit the pockets of the majority of young intellectuals and immigrants. The best sellers are apartments of 50-60 square metres, while 90 percent of buyers are not speculators, but those who have a real demand for accommodation.


Moreover, to purchase these apartments, buyers just need 300-400 million dong. If they can prove that they have a stable income, they can borrow money to purchase the apartments. “These apartments are really suitable for those with medium incomes,” Loc noted.


The Housing Law does not allow construction of apartments with an area of less than 45 square metres. Still, such small apartments have existed for many years.


Most recently, Dat Lanh Real Estate Company announced its intention to market super-small apartments of 20 square metre. Arguments have arisen as to whether or not to allow such tiny apartments. Some fear that 20 square metre apartments will lead to slum-like conditions.

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