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Lack of transparency hits property floors

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 at 7:03 am




Lack of transparency hits property floors


QĐND – Tuesday, January 11, 2011, 21:36 (GMT+7)

Recent Ministry of Construction statistics show that only 15 percent of real estate transactions take place on transaction floors.


This means that the development of the floors has not yet met the expectation of a real estate market seeking transparency.


According to the ministry, the market is plagued by poor transparency, while land and home buyers are keen to have clear information about the house or land they want to buy.


To improve the situation, the establishment of a trading floor system under the strict control of authorised agencies has been proposed.


According to the Department of Housing Administration and Real Estate under the Ministry of Construction, the country has a total of 600 real estate transaction floors.


Despite this, the number of transactions remains very low.


Total real estate sales nation-wide through these floors totalled 3,679, – 327 in Hanoi and 3,352 in HCM City.


Many investors have sought to avoid trading through transaction floors by exploiting legal loopholes. As a result the number of deals made through the transaction floors remains low.


Director of Housing Administration and Real Estate Nguyen Manh Ha said the department requested the floors to report their performance from the beginning of 2010, but only 20 percent have so far complied.


Deputy Minister of Construction Nguyen Tran Nam acknowledged that agencies have not fined violators. He also admitted that administrative procedures to set up real estate floors are too simple.


Nam said that in the current context, authorised agencies need to gradually improve the quality service provided by trading floors so as to eliminate those that are in efficient.


Source: VNA


Source: QDND

REIT best choice for Vietnam’s property market, says conference

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:34 am

The model of real estate investment trust (REIT) funds should be applied into the rapidly growing real estate market in Vietnam, said economists at a conference on developing residential housing and property market in Hanoi last week.

(Photo: Minh Tri)

Real estate investment trusts (REIT) are booming, with an average profit of around 3-5 percent, Abas A. Jalil, director of the property investment fund AmanahRaya-REIT Managers, said at a conference in Hanoi.


REIT funds focus on leasing lands, buildings, and expanding their property investments to generate as much profit as possible to their shareholders.


Singaporean economist Professor Habibullah Khan said REIT are more competitive in his country. There are three kinds of real estate investment trust, including equity REIT, mortgage REIT and hybrid REIT.


Equity REITs invest in various types of income-producing commercial properties. The income is then shared in investor dividends. Profit will be based on numerous criteria including what type of property it is and how much income it generates.


Mortgage REITs either buy up pools of mortgages made by others or make mortgage loans directly.


A hybrid REITs are merely a REIT that invests both in actual real estate properties and mortgage loans. Most of REIT funds in Singapore are equity REIT, Professor Habibullah Khan said.
Phan Thanh Mai, general director of the property investment fund VPREIT, said REIT funds in Vietnam also developed strongly in the last five years. However, their investment in residential housing market remained low.


Most of investments poured into the housing market were from banks and individual buyers, Mai said. Therefore, he recommended that REIT funds should be allowed to mobilize capital from individuals.  


Statistics showed there were around 10,800 hotels with 210,000 offices, 98 resorts with 8,150 rooms nationwide so far this year. Deputy Construction Minister Nguyen Tran Nam said the local property market remained an attractive destination to foreign investors.


Foreign investors have invested 500 real estate projects with the total investment of more than $40 billion since the end of last year. The outstanding property loans at commercial banks reached VND210.77 trillion ($10 billion) on July.


However, property investors still have to cope with illegal transactions, significant price fluctuations caused by speculation, ineffective land use managements and poor town planning.

Source: SGGP

Dirty tricks on property market

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:33 am

Some property brokers tried to sell lands, apartments with dirty tricks as the real estate market remained gloomy.

Clients collect circulars advertising houses and apartments for sales at a HCMC-based real estate firm (Photo: Minh Tri)

A man, who wants to be anonymous, said he was swindled as he bought an apartment at the Mo Lao Residential Park in Hanoi’s Ha Dong District.


“Earlier I knew a broker at a popular property firm through a friend. The demand on luxury apartments at that time was pretty high, so I asked him to find one for me in an attempt to cash in,” he recalled.


“Two days later, he [the broker] gave me an invitation to buy an apartment at Mo Lao from a property firm, saying the director of the firm personally invited me to show his respect. He also said the apartments were great deals so the director agreed to spare only one for me,” the man said.


“I borrowed VND300 million (US$15,000) from a bank to pay in advance for the apartment right after that. The real estate firm pleaded that the construction of apartment would be finished in 2 years and I had to pay the remainder of VND1.8 billion ($90,000).


“However, property price of my apartment’s neighbor slumped in the next two months. Therefore, I decided to sell the apartment as I suffered losses from repaying the bank.


“And I struggled to sell it even at the original price, so I had to sell it at a lower price, which caused a VND70 million ($3,500).” He also found out that other people also received “the personal invitation” like him.


Some other brokers work for 5-10 property firms at a time in an attempt to take profit from making insider trading. A broker at a Ho Chi Minh City-based real estate company disclosed he received a huge amount by a property firm to set up a consulting office next to a residential zone of that firm’s rival.


Clients visiting his office were recommended to stay away from houses in that zone. “I said those houses’ quality was in pretty bad conditions and scums gathered there every day,” the broker said.


Another broker said many property speculators created a fake apartment demand to push prices up by buying houses, lands or apartments in a certain area and then sell back to themselves at higher prices. “They earned tens of billions of Vietnam dong from those affairs,” he said.

Source: SGGP

Natural disasters caused heavy losses in life and property

In Uncategorized on August 1, 2010 at 7:18 pm




Natural disasters caused heavy losses in life and property


QĐND – Sunday, August 01, 2010, 21:10 (GMT+7)

The first and second tropical storms in July, Conson and Chanthu, caused great losses of human lives and resources, and seriously impacted production and the daily lives of the local people.


The General Statistics Office (GSO) says that the natural disasters have left 40 dead and missing and caused a total of VND1,300 billion in property damage. The northern port city of Hai Phong suffered most, with a material loss of about VND1,200 billion.


According to a preliminary report by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), more than 100 houses collapsed and about 1,900 more were partially damaged, while nearly 13,000 hectares of rice and other crops were damaged or washed away.


Each year, about 750 people are killed or go missing in Vietnam due to natural disasters, and an estimated 1.5 percent of the nation’s GDP in property is lost. Functional agencies need to increase their forecasting and warning capacity for floods and storms and make more joint efforts in responding to natural disasters.


The Central Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Prevention and the National Committee for Search and Rescue should draw up flexible plans to help local people cope with natural calamities to minimise human and material losses.


Source: VOV


Source: QDND

Slow show reveals crisis impact on Abu Dhabi property

In Uncategorized on April 19, 2010 at 9:40 am

A subdued opening to the “Cityscape Abu Dhabi” property show on Sunday underlined the impact of the global financial crisis and a shift in emphasis to the completion of projects already launched.


“All projects are under construction” read a gigantic billboard put up by a major property developer on the road leading into Abu Dhabi — to give the impression of business as usual.


The four-day show has drawn 250 exhibitors from 35 countries.


But business has changed dramatically from the pre-crisis era, when property developers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), mainly Dubai and later Abu Dhabi, would sell massive projects off plan within hours of their being announced.

Visitors look at a model of the Capital City District project displayed at the Cityscape exhibition in the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi.

No new projects appear likely to be announced at the show, which features dozens of glitzy models of projects announced during the Dubai-led property boom, which burst spectacularly in autumn 2008.


Among them stands a huge scaled-down model of Abu Dhabi as it would look in 2030, if the government’s masterplan keeps to schedule.


“A lot of the schemes announced over the past four to five years have been slowed down,” said Mark Morris Jones of research firm CB Richard Ellis, noting that developers have been looking at balancing delivery times with demand.


“We had to look into some projects as the demand in the market has changed,” said Ousama Ghannoum, marketing manager at ALDAR Properties, Abu Dhabi’s largest developer by market value.


He said developers are now focusing on “affordable housing” with less emphasis on the high-end market.


Due to Abu Dhabi’s oil wealth and a lack of newly developed property, the crisis has not hit hard like in Dubai, where prices have halved as investors vanished and thousands of new units went on the market.


Only nine projects, worth 491 million dollars, have been cancelled in Abu Dhabi, while 42 others, valued at 6.8 billion dollars have been put on hold, according to a study by Proleads research company, published at the show.


The study, which counts only projects with budgets of more 10 million dollars, said 307 projects, with a combined value of 153.9 billion dollars, have reached the execution stage.


Another 104 projects worth 73.97 billion dollars are at a pre-execution phase, it said.


The wealthy government of the emirate, which sits on almost all the oil reserves of the UAE, plays a major role in sustaining the pace of construction as it stands behind several landmark developments.


The projects include building state-of-the-art branches for the Louvre and Guggenheim museums.


Abu Dhabi, which is the Emirati capital, is also splashing out heavily on infrastructure, which is in turn helps the economy to overcome the impact of the global crisis.


The strong financial footing of Abu Dhabi, mainly as oil prices have recovered, allows its government-linked developers to feel more comfortable than troubled Dubai firms.


“I don’t foresee that we will face any problems in financing our projects,” said Carlos Obeid, chief financial officer at Mubadala, which is involved in grandiose projects in Abu Dhabi.

He pointed out that Mubadala was in the final stages of securing a two-billion-dollar syndicated loan.

“Abu Dhabi has strong fundamentals … Mubadala is owned by the Abu Dhabi government,” Obeid said, underscoring the comfortable position of the developer.

Jones also said that Abu Dhabi “has been insulated,” like Qatar and Saudi Arabia, in contrast to debt-laden Dubai and other property markets, thanks to their high liquidity levels.

He also pointed out the level of property supply has not been as high as in Dubai, which has also been rife with speculative investments, while demand in the capital has been less volatile.

“It is a question of supply. They (Abu Dhabi) are in a different point of development compared to Dubai, which is delivering huge amounts” of units, said Jones of the CB Richard Ellis research firm.

“They are at a different place in the cycle” of market development, since Abu Dhabi launched its major property schemes later than Dubai, whose market was opened to foreign property investors in 2002, he said.

Source: SGGP

Women unaware of property rights despite 5-year-old law

In Uncategorized on October 16, 2008 at 12:51 pm

A recent survey found that most women did not know they have the right to have their names on land use rights certificates.

Action Aid Vietnam conducted a survey on women’s rights to access land in six districts throughout Vietnam – Da Bac in Hoa Binh, Tam Duong in Lai Chau, Ninh Phuoc in Ninh Thuan, Mang Yang in Gia Lai, Cau Ngang in Tra Vinh and Vung Liem in Vinh Long.

According to the survey, conducted from June to August in more than 1,000 households, although a five-year-old law stipulates that both women and men are entitled to jointly have their names on ownership documents, awareness of the right varies.

In many cases, women are not signatories for land use rights and goods. This puts them in a position of dependency, which can be a hidden threat to women and their children in difficult times.

Saroj Dash, director of Acting Action Aid, said that while women are the key to feeding and bringing up families, their right to access and utilisation of land and goods is violated in many cases.

He said that one of the actions the Government could take to achieve better food security for destitute women was to recognise their rights to land access and land use, both in law and in reality.

“This is a very basic and legitimate right for women,” he said.

Many Vietnamese women, especially those with little formal education, do not know this. Even female district officials are often not fully aware of the need to convert single name certificates into joint ownership.

One female district head of the Vietnam Women’s Union said oriental women often thought that property belonged to their husbands, but as marriages almost never broke up and tradition recognised her contribution to the household, there was little need to worry.

Couples who would like to have both their names on a certificate are afraid of the cumbersome administrative formalities and high registration fees.

The Action Aid report has recommended simplifying certification and raising the awareness of women and officials in public authorities.-

Property market prices cool

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2008 at 12:10 pm






HCM City’s Phu My Hung urban area. Property prices have fallen by 40-60 per cent since the Lunar New Year. — VNA/VNS Photo Van Khanh

HCM CITY — Builders are trying to attract prospective house buyers to take advantage of the recent drop in prices in the real estate market.


According to market research experts, property prices have fallen by 40-60 per cent compared with the days following Tet (Lunar New Year), when HCM City’s property market was on the rise. In the past few months, prices have been at a standstill.


Small-time speculators, or short-term investors, who snapped up property when the real estate market was doing well, are now selling out to repay debts and fleeing the sector as banks have tightened property loans.


Before the drop in prices, customers had to buy apartments via brokers and suffer a difference of hundreds of millions of dong per house in commission.


This is a good time to buy for those who want to own a house as the market is dropping to its “bottom,” according to Do Tien Duong, a property investor.


“Also, the stock, gold and dollar markets have been unstable, which can drive people to invest in real estate for savings,” Duong said.


Developers are attracting individual customers by offering apartments for sale at low prices to carry them through the current crunch, when few property brokers are willing to invest.


Last month, for example, Phu Long Property Joint Stock Co. signed 100 customers to its Phu Hoang Anh Apartment project in Nha Be Commune at US$1,900 per sq.m during the first week of September.


Phu My Hung Joint Venture Co. is currently offering VND27 million ($1,700) per sq.m on its Sky Garden Apartments project. Apartments in Sacomreal Co.’s Phu Loi I project, District 8, are being sold at VND12.6 million ($788) per sq.m as well.


Due to recent government policies that have shut off credit to the real estate market, builders are trying to better the market and sell their apartments, according to Le Hoang Chau, chairman of the HCM City Real Estate Association.


True prices are returning, according to local property experts, who refer to the relationship between market prices and property value.


Real-estate transactions had not increased significantly, averaging only one to two transactions per week in the past three months, but it was a sign that the market was recovering after a long period hibernation, Duong said. —

Congo national deported for property appropriation

In Uncategorized on September 17, 2008 at 10:56 am

HCM City (VNA) – A Congo national was expelled from Vietnam for involvement in property appropriation, police said on September 16.
Etoja Vicky, 31, is also prohibited to re-enter into Vietnam , according to the Ho Chi Minh City Public Security’s Immigration Department.

Vicky was found to have used a fake passport to withdraw 81,375 Australian dollars at a Viettinbank branch in Ho Chi Minh City ’s district 7 on September 4.

He admitted that he lived as a homeless in Ho Chi Minh City and was hired to withdraw money. He had earlier disguised himself as a businessman to enter Vietnam from Thailand .

On August 28, Vietnam deported two other Congo nationals for the same reason. Long Angel Fabien, 30, and Andoris Eboli Mbpke, 28, used fake passports to withdraw 217,033 AUD at a bank in Ho Chi Minh City ’s Go Vap district.-

First property trading floor in the northern region

In Uncategorized on September 15, 2008 at 11:08 am

A real estate trading floor will be opened here at the end of this month by the Vietnam Commercial Bank for Private Enterprises (VP Bank).

The bank expects to improve the transparency of property transactions, facilitate payment options and stimulate the current lag in the domestic property market by offering new services, Le Dac Son, VP Bank general director said.

“This property trading floor falls under the bank’s development plan. VP Bank will act as an intermediary to provide capital to both real estate investors and buyers”.

Located in the Kinh Do Building on Tay Son street, it will be the first real estate trading floor to reach the new standards set forth by the Ministry of Construction in the northern region, the bank adds.

Professional support will be provided by the House Management Department of the Ministry of Construction.

New services will include assessment, consulting and assistance with legal issues. Property management, brokerage, and auction services will also be provided.-

Foreigners keen on confiscated property

In Uncategorized on September 1, 2008 at 12:41 pm

HCM CITY — Foreign investors are expressing more interest in buying confiscated properties in a bid to save both time and money.


The Singapore property developer City Developments Ltd, for example, said in early 2009 it would begin investing in real estate but would first set its sights on confiscated hotels and trade centres.


Most of these seized properties have already gone through investment licence applications and land clearance procedures, and they are often priced below market.


Nguyen Dang Son, deputy director of Institute for Urban Research and Infrastructure Development: “Foreign investors will have many properties to choose from since many of them will be seized in the future because their construction timetable is behind schedule.”


Local property companies have had difficulties in obtaining land clearance and capital, and high interest rates on bank loans have stalled investment.


Sharp increases in the price of building materials such as cement and steel have also contributed to the capital shortage. Many property developers have delayed or sold their real estate, market experts said.


Dinh The Hien, director of the Institute for Applied Informatics and Economic Research, said: “Foreign investors who buy confiscated properties will benefit but the country’s economic development will also.”


“Authorised government agencies have not dealt with construction delays in a firm manner,” Hien said. “If they would do this, banks and property companies could then recoup their capital more quickly.”


According to data of the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Investment Agency (FIA), nearly US$44.5 billion of new FDI was poured into Viet Nam in the first seven months of the year.


During that time, foreign investors injected $13.06 billion into real estate projects, accounting for over 29.3 per cent of the total investment.


At least $4.77 billion was used for building new urban areas and VND8.2 billion was invested in construction of office and apartment buildings.


When the stock market took a drastic fall in 2007, many foreign indirect investors shifted to other investment channels including the property sector.


Phan Huu Thang, FIA director, said it was important to encourage foreign investors to use land resources wisely and follow localities’development plans. —