Vietnam real estate market now recovering: construction minister

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The real estate market has hit its bottom and is now picking up, though at a slow pace, says Construction Minister Trinh Dinh Dung.

"The market has been sluggish for a very long time, since the second quarter of 2011 in Hanoi and since 2009 in Ho Chi Minh City. But now there are positive signs with transactions rising," Dung said in an interview published in Thursday's Vietnam Economic Times.

He said the market had "frozen" due to many reasons, including a squeeze on bank loans and an oversupply of housing products.

"So it is vital to ease credit access for homebuyers. At the same time, developers should focus on market segments with real demand," Dung said.

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"The market will continue to face many difficulties this year, but in the medium and long term, it will get better, meeting the housing demand of the public and contributing to economic growth," he said, noting that the property sector is a driving force behind the steel and construction industries.

The Ho Chi Minh City Real Estate Association this week called for urgent support from the government to revive the market, requesting tax relief and easing of home ownership regulations for foreigners. 

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