Despite facing many technical obstacles, foreign and Vietnamese investors have continued to pour their money into potentially lucrative investment opportunities in the country, the Vietnam Investment Review reported.

In the third quarter of 2014, many big property transactions were reported in Ho Chi Minh City .

Japan’s Creed Group caught the headlines after buying into several projects of Nam Bay Bay Investment Joint Stock company (NBB), starting from City Gate Towers with the price of more than 59 million USD, followed by the NBB Garden 2 and NBB Garden 3 buildings.

Also in Ho Chi Minh City , Posco sold its Diamond Plaza to Lotte Shopping, while domestically-owned Tien Phuoc Corporation sold the Estella development to Singapore ’s Keppel Land .

Japan-based Daibiru Corporation, an office developer also announced its buy out of the Cornerstone Building in Hanoi for more than 60 million USD.

Cornerstone was built by VIB Ngo Gia Tu, a joint venture between the Vietnam International Bank and Ngo Gia Tu Company.

According to Real Capital Analytics, a global data provider on property transactions, 15 transactions were reported per year on average between 2011 and 2013.

It was estimated that the average value per transaction reached more than 35 million USD.

During this period, most outstanding transactions reported were Metro Cash and Carry (877 million USD), Vincom Centre A (314 million USD) and Hanoi Daewoo Hotel (114 million USD).

Figures from CBRE Vietnam revealed that domestic players dominated overall, but Korean firms were active in both selling and buying, with a range of names such as Kumho Asiana, Daewoo, Lotte and CJ while Singapore firms proved active buyers with through Keppel Land, Mappletree, and CapitaLand.

Among foreign players, the Republic of Korea , Singapore and Japan led the buyer group while the Republic of Korea and Hong Kong were largely sellers.

Despite the legal reforms, buyouts by foreign firms still remain overly complicated.

Neil MacGregor, managing director of Savills Vietnam , commented that the primary barrier to foreign investors was a lack of stocks and legal procedures.

Japan , Singapore and Hong Kong investors are among the most avid property hunters, he added.

According to the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the real estate sector still ranked second in terms of overall FDI attraction in Vietnam in the first 9 months of 2014 with 27 new and extended projects licensed worth 1.2 billion USD.-VNA