Developers price speculators out of real estate market.
Property speculators are having a bad time in Ho Chi Minh City with buyers choosing to buy apartments directly from developers who are offering low prices, insiders said.
Lam Van Chuc, director of Phuc Duc Real Estate Company, said many new projects have hit the market at lower prices than before.
Saigonland Real Estate, for instance, has lowered the prices of its Cantavil Hoan Cau apartments in Binh Thanh District to VND36 million (US$2,025) a square meter from VND50 million ($2,810) earlier.
An apartment at Saigon Pearl in the same district is now priced at $2,000- 2,050 a square meter, against $2,300 even in February. The dollar trades at VND17,776 in the interbank market Monday, a 1.7 percent rise from around VND17,485 in late February.
Real estate services firm CB Richard Ellis said Hoang Anh Gia Lai sold more than 500 apartments in HCMC in just two days after lowering prices by as much as 40 percent, forcing many other developers to follow suit.
Figures from property consultants Vinaland and Saigon Thuong Tin Real Estate Joint Stock Company, the latter an affiliate of the listed Sacombank, show land and apartment prices at more than 90 percent of housing projects in the city remain unchanged or have fallen slightly since March.
A real estate analyst, who wished to be unnamed, said the property market is now driven by buyers and they have many choices. As a result, they avoid buying from speculators.
Pham Van Hai, general director of Asia Commercial Bank Real Estate Company, said many new residential projects like Blooming Park, Hoang Anh River View and Sunrise City were launched at the beginning of this year with hardly any speculators buying them.
In the case of projects whose prices were high to start with, buyers wait for developers to cut prices instead of buying from the secondary market at high prices, Hai said. The Vista, Saigon Pearl and Cantavil Hoan Cau are in this category.
While the prices of luxury and midrange apartments have been falling, the only segment that appreciated was affordable housing, analysts said.
Low-end apartment prices went up 5-15 percent between January and March, according to CB Richard Ellis.
Asia Commercial Bank Real Estate Company reported 40 successful transactions in the first half of this month and most of the buyers chose affordable apartments.
Research firm VietRees said it is safer and more profitable to invest in the low-end segment right now as it is likely their prices will surge later. Last month, the secondary market for luxury apartments remained quiet, the firm said in a report.