Vietnam to see further decline in home prices: report

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The housing markets in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City will continue to see price falls in 2012 as cities across Asia-Pacific are expected to have weaker sales volumes, according to global property consultant Knight Frank.

Residential prices in the two Vietnamese cities will fall by 5 to 10 percent next year, after an estimated drop of 10-20 percent in 2011, the company said in a new global forecast.

The other five Asia-Pacific cities that are expected to see negative price growth in 2012 are Hong Kong, Mumbai, Singapore, Shanghai and Sydney, according to the report, which tracks price performances of 21 so-called "prime markets" around the world.

"In most cases these price falls have been partly driven by government regulation, which was brought in after 2008 in an attempt to cool housing markets before they experienced US and European style crashes," Knight Frank said.

The company noted that while the prime cities may be outperforming other mainstream markets, they are "in no way immune from weakening confidence and deteriorating market conditions."

"Cities across Asia-Pacific are at the sharp end of this process, with weaker sales volumes in many cities starting to feed through into price growth," the report said.

Liam Bailey, head of Residential Research at Knight Frank, said after two years of growth the world's prime markets look set to cool in 2012.

"Before 2007 the global housing market was a much simpler subject to analyze. Prices and demand rose year-on-year pretty much everywhere and at almost every level of the market. Then came the credit crunch, and things became more complex," he said.

According to the report, price falls are expected in 44 percent of cities in 2012, no change in 12 percent and rising prices in the remaining 44 percent.

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