The real estate inventory is finally decreasing, albeit slowly, according to an official of the Ministry of Construction.

In the first nine months of this year, inventory across the country reached 101.9 trillion VND (4.8 billion USD), 12.6 trillion VND lower than the value in the first quarter.

The reduction was due to more local real estate transactions, the ministry said. Investors nationwide focused on promoting apartments and houses to potential buyers.

Many commercial projects were converted to social housing so investors could take advantage of a 30 trillion VND (1.4 billion USD) preferential credit package. Almost all the dwellings sold were small, affordably priced apartments. Many enterprises, especially in the south, cut prices by restructuring plans to push down production costs.

Minister Trinh Dinh Dung said the value was calculated from completed property products, although projects currently in the site clearance and construction stages also had high value. The important thing was to square the oversupply of luxury property with the lack of affordable apartments, he said.

The ministry instructed provinces and cities to create favourable conditions for enterprises and investors to convert commercial projects to social projects as demand required.

Economist Tran Du Lich agreed the supply of low-income housing for workers should be increased, but argued the State should use the credit package to support buyers rather than sellers.

Property expert Dang Hung Vo said many changes were needed to spur a real estate recovery, including new State policies, heightened efforts by investors and the renewed confidence of consumers. $0 $0$0 $0 $0If consumers had confidence in the market, they would invest 400 tonnes of their gold inventory in the local property market, he said.

Nationwide, 4.48 trillion VND has been invested in 4,015 housing projects, according to the ministry. Of the total registered investment, 774.7 billion VND (17.26 percent) has been disbursed.-VNA