Vietnam real estate market

Apartment in hochiminh. Work begins on deluxe, 18-storey apartment in City Construction kicked off yesterday on a new 18-storey apartment building in Binh Thanh District in HCM City.

The US$30 million building, called the Cantavil Hoan Cau, is located on 3,600 sq.m next to Van Thanh Park.

It should be completed in two years, offering more than 200 apartments, including 11 penthouses of 115 to 152 sq.m each.

Of the total investment, the Daewon Hoan Cau joint-venture company holds 51 per cent and the local Hoan Cau Company, the remaining 49 per cent.

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Established in 1972, the Daewon group has built over 30,000 apartments, as well as road, bridge and office building projects.

In early 2005, Daewon and the Thu Duc House Development Company developed the Daewon Cantavil An Phu 1, a project of 405 apartments in District 2, according to Daewon Chairman Jun Young Woo.

Daewon is also co-ordinating with local partners to build another Cantavil project in Da Nang and the West Lake New Urban Area in Ha Noi.

  Vincom to build HCM City trade-apartment complex

Vincom Joint Stock Company is planning to build a US$300 million trade and apartment complex in HCM City’s District 1.

The company has received approval in principle from the city People’s Committee to build the complex. A contract with France’s Site Architecture Company has been signed to provide a master plan for the construction design.

According to initial plans, the complex will cover a total area of 310,000 sq.m, and will have three sections; a trade centre named Eden, an office and five-star hotel and parking area. Approximately 100,000 sq.m will be reserved for the trade centre, 60,000 sq.m allocated for parking, and the rest for hotel, offices and

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"The complex will be located in an excellent area for luxury-living developments. It is close to the centre of the city, is surrounded by beautiful landscape that enjoys well-developed infrastructure and quality hotels, offices and shopping centres," said company board chairman Le Khac Hiep.

The seven-floor trade centre and parking will be located underground. "Construction would be costly, but this is a good solution that will allow us to avoid troubles relating to the city’s traffic," he said.

"We prepared for the project three years ago, so are now ready to enter the booming property market," said Hiep.

Construction will begin in the fourth quarter of this year and will take two years to complete. This is a first step in the company’s strategy to invest in HCM City’s property market.

The company is now finalising procedures to secure the investment license.

Hiep said the company will continue to focus on the real estate market with plans for the development of the $93.75 million Long Bien Eco-Tourism Resort and golf course and a $250 million hydroelectric power plant.

HCM City apartment prices fall

Apartment prices in HCM City are at their lowest levels of the last several years, real estate agencies have said.

Medium – and high-priced apartments are being offered for much lower rates than six months ago.

Tran Quang Binh, owner of a real estate brokerage office in District 7, said rates on an upscale apartment building in District 7’s Sai Gon South had dropped dramatically.

The Him Lam Riverside project in District 7’s Tan Hung new urban area is in a highly desirable location, but the price is now US$700 and $800 lower than similar apartments sold only months ago.

"They’re selling for an average US$1,800 per sq metre. But Sunrise City apartments, which are in the same location, were selling for US$2,500 to $2,600 a few months ago," Binh said.

Medium-priced apartment are also selling at much lower prices, less than US$1,000 per square metre.

Most medium-priced apartments are in districts 6, 2 and Thu Duc and located in areas with adequate social and technical infrastructure.

The price of these apartments average only VND12 – 13 million (US$674-730) per square metre, compared to the former rate of VND17-18 million.

Blue Sapphire in the Binh Phu new urban area in District 6, for example, is selling apartments for VND12.9 million per square metre, and is offering discounts, according to Huynh Van Khang, director of the Van Khang Real Estate Company in District 6.

Apartments at the Babylon Residence project in Thu Duc District are being sold at VND14.5 million per square metre, with a 3 per cent discount.

"People with only VND1 billion can now own a smart apartment," he said.

Nguyen Xuan Chau, deputy general director of Him Lam Real Estate Joint-Stock Company (Him Lam Land), said buyers should grasp this opportunity when supply is plentiful.

City hotel and apartment towers open

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) inaugurated the InterContinental Asiana Sai Gon hotel and InterContinental Asiana Sai Gon Residences in HCM City yesterday.

They are, the first international luxury hotels to open in the city in the last four years and the first residential property under the InterContinental brand in Asia Pacific.

The two towers are part of the South Korean-invested complex project Kumho Asiana Plaza, which is located on the downtown land lot bordering Le Duan, Hai Ba Trung, Nguyen Du and Le Van Huu streets in District 1.

The complex contains an up-market commercial, accommodation and shopping arcade, and several restaurants and bars – which will include the coming Hard Rock Cafe.

The hotel features 305 rooms and suites. It also has extensive meeting facilities, including eight meeting rooms and the largest Grand Ballroom in the downtown area, which can cater up to 600 persons, with indoor and outdoor pre-function spaces.

The hotel has a spa and a health club featuring a 20m outdoor swimming pool.

The hotel’s sister property of InterContinental Asiana Sai Gon Residences offers 260 fully furnished, serviced apartments for lease, ranging from one-bedroom at 78sq.m to three-bedroom at 204sq.m.

"Viet Nam has a huge potential as a destination for both business and leisure tourists from around the world and IHG is confident in the growth of InterContinental Asiana Sai Gon." said Phil Riley, IHG Viet Nam Regional General Manager.

"We are also very positive about premium residential market in HCM City and confident that our service residences will meet the growing needs of