Falling real estate prices are actually the reason many developers have survived the downturn, said a report sent to the National Assembly by the Ministry of Construction. Insights from the Vietnam Investment Review.

“Apartment prices have greatly reduced compared to 2008-2010. Most projects have seen a decrease of 10 to 30 percent, some have fallen by half,” read the report, which also pointed out that small, ready-to-use apartments costing less than 15 million VND (715 USD) per square metre were now the most desired by buyers.

The MoC also reported that the current total value of unsold apartments throughout the country stands at 4.8 billion USD thanks to increasing purchases of small and finished apartments. The figure in the first six months of the year was 20 percent higher.

“There are still challenges the market must face, but we are looking at an upswing in the first nine months of this year as confidence slowly improves. Many transactions for social housing and small apartments have been conducted successfully,” the report said.

Compared to the previous two years, the number of transactions is still low but for the small apartment segment, liquidity is high and transactions are on the up.

The report also indicated that even more and more projects were finished and ready for sale, unsold properties in the two major cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City were decreasing.

In Hanoi, unsold real estates were estimated at 14.5 trillion VND (690 million USD) in July this year, down 15 percent compared with June.

In Ho Chi Minh City unsold properties were valued at just over 1 billion USD, down 16.1 percent.

These results prompted the MoC to announce that the national housing development strategy has achieved positive initial results.

Reducing prices have been the top priority for developers to survive the current slump. Many have also offered incentives to buyers.

According to CBRE Vietnam, in the third quarter this year residential projects were more cautious with only 1,900 units released, 6 percent down against the same period last year.

Primary prices also continued to go down, with some developers lowering prices by 10 percent from previous launches and up to 50 percent on new launches.

The number of units put up for sale in Hanoi in the third quarter of this year totalled 1,900 units.

In Ho Chi Minh City unit launches continued to rise this year with 1,726 units in the third quarter, increasing 45.8 percent on quarter and 11.6 percent on year.

The majority of this supply was in the affordable segment, making up 74.7 percent of new launches. High-end came in second with 19.3 percent and mid-end last with 6 percent.

Developers’ faith in the market was rewarded as new launches saw notable buyer activity, according to CBRE, which also confirmed that prices in Ho Chi Minh City continued to fall, but at marginal rates.-VNA