Hanoi to establish property index early next year

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Hanoi now says its long-awaited property index will come online in 2013, three years after regulators first proposed its creation, VnEconomy reported on August 20.

The index will track apartment, home and vacant lot data for four of the capitol's central districts (Dong Da, Thanh Xuan, Ha Dong, and Cau Giay) and two rural districts (Tu Liem and Hoai Duc), according to the city government.

These areas report the highest volume of real estate transactions in Hanoi, according to the Hanoi Construction Department.

Hanoi's new index has been planned to go online in the first quarter of 2013 in order to assist the municipal construction department compile a more reliable annual real estate report.

In 2010 the Ministry of Construction called on administrators in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, the central city of Da Nang and the Mekong city of Can Tho to develop property indexes.

According to a decree the ministry released the same year, property indexes are to be used by authorities to manage the real estate market.

News website LANDTODAY reported in 2010 that Bui Tien Thang, deputy general director of Saigon Thuong Tin Real Estate JSC, said the indexes would inform traders and brokerage companies of price fluctuations and trading volumes.

The delay in developing property indexes was attributed to the difficulty of collecting the data when most real estate transactions are conducted with little oversight. Only 20 percent of transactions are done on official trading floors, said Ngo Huong Giang, head of CBRE Vietnam's research division.

Even official statistics provided by authorities are likely to be based on outdated data or information that is inconsistent with what is actually going on it the market, she said.

Towards the end of May this year, CBRE Vietnam and the Hanoi Construction Department held a conference on the proposed property index. The international real estate firm had agreed to assist the department in gathering data to develop the index.

The establishment of indexes in the other three cities is still a long way off.

Ho Chi Minh traders expressed concerns about the accuracy of official real estate data in 2008, local news media reported, but the city still lacks a property index as officials continue to complain of difficulties in gathering information.

No progress appears to have been reported by officials in either Da Nang or Can Tho. 

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