Thu Thiem urban area in HCM City (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNS/VNA) - Many property developers in Ho Chi Minh City are moving to neighbouring provinces and cities and even as far away as the central region as city authorities are issuing fewer licences and legal procedures elsewhere are simpler.

Many have begun developing in provinces like Long An, Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Binh Phuoc.

The chairman of a company based in district 5 said he would focus on six projects this year, 85 percent of them far from the city. He attributed it to the easier and quicker procedures in other places.

Another company based in district 1 said it would start selling 1,000 units in Binh Duong province close to Thu Duc district.

It said it now takes longer than in the past to complete procedures in HCM City. “Investing in distant places, selling cheaper products is a stable method,” the company said.

Thang Loi Company said this year it plans to sell housing and land in Long An province, adding investing outside the city would be its main strategy for the next one or two years.

Kim Oanh Real in Binh Thanh district, which has experience selling land and housing in Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces, said the company would continue to expand in the two provinces this year.

Its first apartment project would be developed in Binh Duong, not HCM City, it said.

Nam Long Investment Joint Stock Company is selling its Waterpoint in Long An province and the locality has been its main focus in 2018-2020.

Even giant developer Novaland Group, which has only developed property projects in inner HCM City, has started to look elsewhere.

Last year, it unveiled plans to invest far from HCM City with a focus on developing tourism property projects in the provinces of Binh Thuan, Khanh Hoa and Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

Media reports show that many other major developers are also moving, Himlam Land to Dong Nai and Bac Ninh, Phu Long to Vung Tau, Nha Trang and Phu Quoc, and Hung Thinh Corp to Khanh Hoa, Dong Nai and Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

Huynh Phuoc Nghia of the University of Economics HCM City said the trend of moving out of HCM City would accelerate this year and become widespread.

The city’s property sector would witness huge changes this year as city authorities limit approvals for new projects and scrupulously ensure the legality of old ones, he said.

Besides, the city has decided not to license any new developments in districts 1 and 3 until 2020 and license only in areas well served by transport in other districts.

The move out of the city by the developers is also to avoid the risk of investing in projects that could end up with some legal lacuna, Nghia said, adding that they would also like to expand niche markets.

Brokerage companies, who faced challenges last year due to a supply shortfall, are also set to benefit and are following developers in their migration outside HCM City.

Ngo Quang Phuc of the Vietnam Association of Property Brokers said 2019 would again be a tough year, but the move by developers would mitigate the situation somewhat.-VNS/VNA