Further price cuts are inevitable if developers want to woo homebuyers back to the market, news website Vietnamnet cited industry insiders as saying.
Le Chi Hieu, vice chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Real Estate Association, said property developers have to change to survive these tough economic times. The first steps are to lower prices and cooperate with other companies, he said.
In the long term, real estate developers should seek investment from various capital sources instead of depending on banks for funds, Hieu said.
Nguyen Van Duc, deputy director of Ho Chi Minh City-based Dat Lanh Real Estate Company, agreed that developers have to accept low prices, and even losses. At the same time, they should review their business strategies to cut construction costs, he added.
According to Vietnamnet, home prices went down in 2011 but the cuts were not enough to drive buyers back to the market. In some cases, the very small price cuts were merely marketing ploys, it said.
In Hanoi, only about 3,600 real estate purchases were made during the first three quarters of last year, Vietnamnet reported.
Nguyen Quoc Hiep, chairman of GP Invest, said many real estate companies have already gone bankrupt, though official announcements have yet to be made.
As sales dropped and bank loans were due, those companies could not afford to stay in the market, he said.
Construction Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has said the market could continue to slump in the first half of this year. He said the bright spot of the market in 2012 will be the low-income housing segment.
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