Hanoi’s housing market saw many positive signals in the first quarter of 2014, according to Richard Leech, Executive Director of CBRE Vietnam – a commercial real estate services firm.

At a news briefing on April 2, CBRE senior manager Nguyen Hoa An said almost all transactions were made for the mid-end segment, but the high-end one, with apartments priced at over 30 million VND (1,430 USD) per square metre, also sold well.

Over the period, prices of mid-end apartments in Hanoi’s secondary market bounced back after decreasing for 11 straight quarters and they rose by 1.1 percent from Q4 of 2013.

Most of the price hikes were made for completed projects with sufficient facilities, while many projects nearing completion also attract buyers, she added.

CBRE’s statistics show that 1,540 residential units from four projects in Hanoi went on sale in Q1, up 17 percent from a year earlier. On the other hand, the construction of 2,716 units was also finalised.

An said the completion of many housing projects in 2014 will cause more fierce competition with existing on-sale apartments as buyers favour completed or nearly completed projects to avoid quality or progress problems.

A brighter situation has also been observed in the villa and semi-detached market. Some projects were offered with lower prices, thus directly competing with mid-end and affordable apartments worth 2 billion – 3 billion VND (95,240 – 142,860 USD) per unit.

An noted that an increasing number of investors have been offering promotion programmes, for example providing free services, issuing membership cards, and accepting various forms of payment in order to attract buyers.

Due to an abundant supply and keen competition from mid-end and affordable projects, such promotions are effective measures to accelerate selling, the CBRE expert said.

In terms of serviced apartments, those located in Tay Ho district and downtown Hanoi were still preferred. Most of the clients are from Japan and the Republic of Korea, since investment from these two countries is being strongly poured into industrial parks in nearby Hai Phong city and Bac Ninh and Thai Nguyen provinces.

Once a Samsung factory in Thai Nguyen and the Hanoi – Thai Nguyen highway become operational, demand for serviced apartments in the capital and its surrounding areas will burgeon, according to CBRE.-VNA