Experts said there was a new trend in the country's continuing urbanisation process – a move away from city centres to the suburbs to enjoy the fresher surroundings there.

Speaking at a recent seminar in HCM City on urban development, they said with rapid urbanisation, cities like Hanoi, Da Nang and HCM City are facing serious housing and employment shortages, pollution, creaking infrastructure, and social insecurity.

To escape, many urban residents, mainly middle-class people, are moving to greener areas in the suburbs which are yet to be defiled by urbanisation.

Vietnam 's urbanisation process began in 1990 and has since gathered momentum, reaching annual growth rates of up to 23 percent.

The urbanisation rate is expected to top 40 percent by 2020, increasing urban land area to 450,000ha.

As a result of the reverse migration to suburbs, the real estate market in these areas is improving.

HCM City is a typical example. In the first quarter, the number of real estate transactions in District 2 increased by 200 percent over the last quarter of 2010.

Land prices here are up by more than 5 percent, according to Huynh Thanh Tam, a property agent in district 2.

Many people are opting to live in district 2 since, besides having a clean natural environment, it also has quality infrastructure thanks to an ongoing plan to turn it into a financial, trading, and service hub.

Transport is one of its strengths, boasting as it does of the Thu Thiem Road, East-West Highway, Thu Thiem Tunnel, Highway 25 B, and the HCM City – Long Thanh Expressway and the Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien metro, the city's first of its kind.

Similarly, district 9, also with good environmental and infrastructure conditions, has also become a magnet for City residents.

The fact that many luxury housing projects have come up or are coming up in Districts 2 and 9 clearly shows their attractiveness.

They include Sanctuary Ho Tram, Casalle Hills Phan Thiet, Laguna Long Hai, Evason Hideaway Con Dao, Long Thanh Golf, Sai Gon-Mekong E. City, and Kim Cuong Island .

Ly Khanh Tam Thao from the city's Planning and Architecture Department agreed that the two places are ideal for building eco-urban housing. /.