The real estate market underwent positive development in the first six months of 2014 as inventories decreased. The number of successful transactions strongly increased while many construction projects have resumed their works, the Vietnam Economic News reported.

Statistics from localities showed sign of improving real estate market. About 4,000 transactions were successful in Hanoi in the first half of 2014, doubling against the same period last year. In Ho Chi Minh City, the most of the sucessful transactions were apartments with a price below 15 million VND per sq.m.

Notably, housing projects for low-income people in Hanoi sold very well. For example, more than 2,000 apartments for low-income people in the Dang Xa Urban Area have been built and sold through two stages. As soon as the third-stage construction of this project commenced, 500 applications have been received from customers who wanted to buy or hire apartments. Similarly, another housing project for low-income people in southwest Linh Dam, which is expected to provide 228 apartments, has received 500 buying orders.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Construction, the total value of real estate inventories in the first five months of 2014 decreased by approximately 45.03 trillion VND or over 35 percent compared with the first quarter of 2013 (the decrease was 36 percent in Hanoi and 45 percent in Ho Chi Minh City).

In Hanoi, inventories have decreased by 442 houses and 1,170 apartments, and the number of successful housing transactions in the first six months of 2014 equaled 145 percent of that in 2013, according to the dada rereased from the Hanoi People's Committee.

Based on positive changes in the real estate market, Vietnam National Real Estate Association (VNREA) Deputy Secretary General Tran Ngoc Quang said there had been optimistic information about the market. Notably, the transactions of medium-scale apartments have surged. Sharing this opinion, VNREA Secretary General Phan Thanh Mai said the real estate market would continue improving its performance later this year.

Many experts shared the opinion that decreases in the lending interest rates offered by banks would contribute to boosting the real estate market.

From June 16, customers can mortgage the contracts they signed to buy apartments from projects which have had their foundations built to borrow bank loans from the 30 trillion VND loan package.

The Ministry of Finance recently issued Circular 48/2014/TT-BTC guiding the implementation of Governmental Resolution 01/NQ-CP regarding the extension of the payment of land use charges and the cost of buying state-owned housing. The circular took effect on June 10, 2014, allowing many real estate projects to delay the payment of land use charges within 24 months.

The Vietnamese real estate market is attracting foreign investors. In the first six months of 2014, real estate ranked third among all economic sectors in terms of foreign investment attraction with nine new projects registered.

CBRE Vietnam Managing Director Marc Towsend said the Vietnamese real estate market was moving and warming up. Foreign investors, especially Asian investors, are boosting their investment in Vietnam - this is a good sign of the domestic real estate market.-VNA