Buyers demand apartments at much-delayed HCMC housing project

TN News

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At least 10 buyers gathered at the construction site of the PetroVietnam Landmark apartment project in Ho Chi Minh City to protest the failure of the developers to hand over their apartments.

The project in District 2 should have been finished in 2011, and the protesters held banners decrying the delay.

Nguyen Thi Que, who has paid 80 percent of her US$110,000 unit, said her family has been unable to meet executives of PetroVietnam Construction Land Corporation despite going to its headquarters in Hanoi three times.

The original agreement was for PVL to hand over apartments to buyers by late 2011 with a grace period of six months.

But even the first phase of the work was not completed by that time, according to the buyers.

PVL had asked for time until April 2012, but that deadline too came and went without the work being finished.

Most buyers have paid 80 percent, with a few paying up fully.

The developers said some buyers had failed to pay their installments, causing a funds shortage that slowed down the project.

But this has elicited severe criticism from many of the buyers who said it is unreasonable to let everyone suffer because of a few, and it is the company itself that has to deal with the problem.

They said they plan to sue PVL.

The developer last year offered to hand over unfinished apartments to the buyers and refund the value of the remaining work. But the buyers rejected the idea, calling it "irresponsible."

In an attempt to sell 85 units to repay bank loans, PVL slashed prices by nearly 30 percent to $740 per square meter in late 2011.

It had already cut the price earlier by 40 percent.

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