House prices in Vietnam may have bottomed out: industry group

By Anh Dan, Thanh Nien News

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A file photo shows apartment buildings in Hanoi. Photo: Anh Dan/Thanh Nien A file photo shows apartment buildings in Hanoi. Photo: Anh Dan/Thanh Nien

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House prices in Vietnam may have hit bottom and are likely to remain stable before rising again in 2018, industry insiders said at a conference in Hanoi on Wednesday.
“It is not possible for prices to fall further. Prices have dropped by around half since 2010 and the profit margin for developers is now 10-20 percent," said Nguyen Tran Nam, chairman of Vietnam Real Estate Association (VNREA).
After the existing stock is cleared, prices will increase again in 2018, he said. 
According to the association, the property market started to pick up in 2014, with strong recovery in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
“Transactions have increased not only for apartments but also villas, resorts and land,” Nam said.
Industry insiders said that buyers have become more demanding and investors are also rushing to diversify their products.
Vietnam's average housing area per person is around 20 square meters. The Ministry of Construction is seeking to increase that to 30 square meters.
Le Khac Hiep, deputy chairman of Vingroup, said the market is demanding for houses with good quality and location.
“Building a civilized and friendly community in a green and smart space is important in urban housing projects,” he said.
Regarding a plan on categorize apartments, Nguyen Manh Khoi of the construction ministry said his ministry will issue a relevant circular in May that will specify criteria to classify apartments in A, B and C grades.
The categorization, which will be implemented for apartments built from July 2015, will be the basis to calculate prices and relevant fees.

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