Gold bullion payments in real estate deals decline

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Real estate brokers say the habit of paying for houses in gold bullion has been broken this year, mainly by the government's efforts to tighten control over gold trading.

News website VnExpress reported on Sunday that many real estate exchanges in Ho Chi Minh City, including ACBR, Sacomreal and Vinaland, have not brokered any deal with gold payment over the past three months.

In 2009, 40 percent of real properties listed at ACBR, a subsidiary of Asia Commercial Bank, were still priced according to their value in gold.

Pham Van Hai, general director of ACBR, said many of his clients switched to dong payments after learning that the government was considering measures to curb gold trading. Only a few sellers of really expensive land lots refused to change, he added.

Gold bars have been used widely in Vietnam as a form of savings and a means of payments in real estate transactions.

Bui Tien Thang, deputy general director of Sacomreal, said the trend of using gold buillion for property payments is declining.

Gold is no longer favored by many because rising gold prices often lead to unsucessful deals. Besides, a tightened control over gold trading can also make people think twice about keeping a lot of gold, he said.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung last week reaffirmed that the government will seek to eliminate the unofficial trade in gold bullion and tighten controls over foreign currency transactions in the black market.

Nguyen Quang Huy, head of the Foreign Exchange Department, noted that that the government plans to gradually abolish black market gold trading. Gold holdings by the public will continue to be protected under the law, he said.

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