Developers of luxury apartment projects have had to shift their sales strategies in face of flagging demand, said real estate consulting and services firm Savills Vietnam.

Prior to the financial crisis, developers could sell units without much effort due to soaring demand, but they now had to turn to sales promotion programmes to turn over unit and meet sales targets, Savills said.

Indochina Land Ltd Co, developer of the Indochina Plaza Hanoi project, recently announced a trade promotion programme for customers who buy apartments in the Xuan Thuy Road complex. The Mullberry project in Ha Dong District also has a programme in co-operation with a bank offering financing to buyers of apartment units, while the Richland Southern project has set up a preferential payment policy for customers.

Indochina Land sales manager Michael Piro also said his company often provided information to customers about the construction progress of projects, information they often expected to know before putting down a deposit.

Vu Xuan Thien, deputy head of the Ministry of Construction's real estate marketing department, said prices of the luxury apartment market were mostly stable, with prices rising for a few projects in prime locations. Luxury apartments in Hanoi were currently selling at 2-3,000 USD/sq.m.

Savills predicted that real demand in the luxury apartment segment would continue to be high in the medium- to long-term due to improved living standards, rising per-capita incomes, and steady rates of population growth and urbanisation./.