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Cool real estate market replaces foreign distributors with local ones

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:06 am

High-end real estate segment used to be dominated by foreign-owned firms such as CBRE Vietnam, Savills Vietnam, Coliers, Cushman Wakefield or Knight Frank, who have the upper-hand in design consultancy, management, marketing and sales.

(Photo: Minh Tri)

But those days are gone.

With the market cooling off and investors turning their back to high-end properties, foreign real estate firms over the past year no longer had a good time.

Savills, Knight Frank and CBRE for the past year had to give the chance to distribute the Indochina Plaza Hanoi project to Hanoi-based DTJ Group.

The priority to distribute the project was once associated with Savills Vietnam. Then its competitors such as Knight Frank and CBRE, the famous real estate service provider stepped in. But all have been replaced by DTJ.

Other big projects in Hanoi such as Mulberry Lane or Cana Park have also replaced foreign distributors with local ones.

Vincom Group has also broken up with its long-year foreign partners. The corporation is selling its projects itself, such as it did with the Royal City project recently.

Several developers of high-end real estate projects in Hanoi said they are willing to invite local distributors instead of foreign-labeled ones.

For a long time, hiring a foreign distributor was the optimum choice as the foreign firms made good business and they gave the project a better name.

But according to experts in the field, difficulties of the market have made the matter of fame no longer important.

Meanwhile, foreign distributors asked for higher payment and have failed to renew their sales and marketing measures to fit in the cooling market. They have failed to sell the project on time or make the profit promised to the developers.

These foreign firms have lost a lot of spotlight. Their reports have been more biased and less accurate. Some were even contradictory to each other.

So they were replaced or supplemented with local firms, which have made big improvements over the past time with proven successes in sales, management and marketing.

It showed good signs for Vietnam’s real estate market, insiders said.

Source: SGGP

Int’l real estate expo opens in HCM City

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

Int’l real estate expo opens in HCM City

QĐND – Friday, December 10, 2010, 20:52 (GMT+7)

More than 50 international and Vietnamese market-leading groups and companies are showcasing their products at a Vietnam international real estate expo (Vietreal 2010) that opened in Ho Chi Minh City on Dec. 9.

On display at more than 300 booths are deluxe resort and tourism projects as well as projects calling for investment in the central coastal Da Nang city, the central provinces of Thua Thien-Hue and Ninh Thuan and the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong.

The four-day exhibition will also include a seminar on four topics: market, policy, opportunities and challenges to investors in the real estate sector.

The seminar will focus on a direct dialogue between the leaders of the Ministries of Construction and Finance and enterprises on how to create a strong jump for the real estate market and avoid risks from market price fluctuations.

General Secretary of the Vietnam National Real Estate Association (VNREA) Nguyen Van Minh said the exhibition was expected to help enterprises and customers gain useful and accurate information on Vietnam’s real estate projects and market.

VNREA will conduct the first-ever survey on accommodation demand in 2010 on this occasion, said Minh.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Real estate ranks third in FDI attraction

In Uncategorized on November 27, 2010 at 6:20 am

The real estate sector currently ranks third in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) in Vietnam, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Investment Agency.

The new urban area Phu My Hung in South Ho Chi Minh City has been invested by a Taiwan business. (Photo: Viet Dung)

By the end of the third quarter this year, foreign investors had disbursed a total of 8 billion USD to real estate projects in Vietnam, the Foreign Investment Agency reported at an international seminar on experiences in developing housing and real estate worldwide, along with options for Vietnam.

The seminar, held in Hanoi on Nov. 26, brought together 1,500 real estate developers and foreign investment funds from 15 countries and territories.

Construction Minister Nguyen Hong Quan said the real estate market is important as it makes direct impacts on the national economy’s growth and has close ties with financial, construction, building materials, and labour markets.

According to Deputy Minister of Construction Nguyen Tran Nam , by the end of 2009, foreign developers had invested in 500 real estate projects with a combined registered capital of over 40 billion USD.

In 2009 alone, FDI in real estate reached 2.5 billion USD, accounting for 21.8 percent of new FDI in Vietnam .

The same day, Vietnam ’s real estate market potentials were introduced to participants in an international real estate exhibition, which was held as part of the seminar.

Source: SGGP

APEC leaders pledge to make free-trade dream real

In Uncategorized on November 14, 2010 at 9:24 am

Real estate over-priced, say experts

In Uncategorized on May 31, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Real estate over-priced, say experts

QĐND – Monday, May 31, 2010, 20:59 (GMT+7)

Government agencies are seeking ways to control property prices, which are far exceeding their real value, according to a report from Government real estate market experts.

A group of interdisciplinary experts specialising in real estate recently submitted the report, which focuses on housing development and the real estate market in 2009, to Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai.

Expenses needed to build 20 – and 25-storey buildings in Hanoi are on average 16.7-17.5 million VND per square metre, while the common price is much higher, standing at between 28 million VND and 32 million per sq.m, according to the report.

Experts blamed the price difference on several reasons, one of which was the habit of “mob” investing, with many people flocking to buy a certain kind of property only because they saw many others do the same.

Lack of information has also influenced buyers who were not aware of the real value of property.

In addition, the poor management ability of real estate market management agencies has contributed to chaotic market pricing.

The report also says that although the country’s per-capita housing area in 2009 doubled compared with the figure recorded 10 years ago, there were still seven million people in urban areas who needed to buy or rent housing.

To meet this demand, the country should build an additional 150 million sq.m metres of housing, which would require combined capital of 3 trillion VND (158 million USD) to 4 trillion VND (210 million USD).

In Hanoi, about 5.5 million sq.m of housing is needed, in addition to about 11,000 accommodations for workers in industrial parks.

HCM City needs about 5 million sq.m of housing and more than 50,000 accommodations for workers.

The real estate market faces a lack of houses at affordable prices and suitable sizes for a majority of customers.

Houses for rent were in great demand in 2009, but they accounted for just 6.3 per cent of the country’s total housing fund.

Based on these figures, experts said the country’s housing demand was still high, especially for low-income earners, including workers in IPs and the poor living in rural and urban areas.

Experts also said the domestic real estate market this year would continue to recover thanks to favourable conditions.

The Government has allowed commercial banks to automatically regulate loan and deposit interest rates, which will create conditions for a more active real estate market.

Experts predicted that there would be about 90,000 apartments sold this year and more than 80,000 others completed. Apartments of 18 million VND per sqm would attract many customers in Hanoi and HCMCity, they said.

Many investment sources are expected to be poured into HCMCity and Hanoi’s neighbouring provinces like Dong Nai, Binh Duong, Vinh Phuc and Hung Yen.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Prince William eyes Sydney real estate

In World on January 21, 2010 at 12:58 am

SYDNEY, Jan 20, 2010 (AFP) – Britain’s visiting Prince William said Wednesday he was so thrilled by his warm welcome to Sydney that he’d like to buy a house in the Australian harbourside city.

Britain’s Prince William (R) poses for photos with New South Wales premier Kristina Keneally before the Sydney opera house on January 20, 2010 (AFP photo)

William, 27, told guests at a traditional Australian waterfront barbecue in his honour that he had enjoyed “the most warm welcome ever, not just with the weather but with all Sydney people.”

“It has been a terrific couple of days in Sydney, and because of that I’ve joked that I will actually try and buy a house in Sydney,” the prince said.

“So if any of you have got any properties for sale then please let me know.”

The prince was mobbed by hundreds of well-wishers when he arrived at the gathering, which offered him stunning views of the city’s famed Opera House and Harbour Bridge on the second day of a three-day whistlestop tour of Australia.

Dressed casually in an open-collared shirt and loafers, the prince enthused about his surroundings, gesturing across glittering waters to the Opera House, which sat against a cloudless blue sky.

“What a view it is too, I’ve always wanted to see the Opera House,” said William, in his first public remarks since landing in Australia on Tuesday.

“The last time I was here and I saw it, it was through very small eyes and I don’t quite remember very much about it.”

The open-air barbecue topped off a two-day stay in Sydney for the young prince, who last visited Australia in the arms of his late mother, Princess Diana, when he was just nine months old in 1983.

William requested the unofficial trip as a way to get to know the country and its people, taking in a poor inner-city Aboriginal neighbourhood and rehab centre for drug addicted youth as part of his less-than-conventional itinerary.

His laid-back manner and ready humour won the praise of press and punters alike, with many likening him to his much-beloved late mother.

Some in the crowds which gathered across the city to see the prince greeted him with the affectionate nickname “Willie Wombat,” which was bestowed upon him during his last visit as an infant.

The prince took a self-deprecating dig at his musical tastes after a rap jam performance by hip-hop artists at a youth dug rehab centre, saying his choice of music often made him the butt of jokes.

“I can’t do any beatboxing, I’m not so good at that,” he told Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, referring to the vocal percussion stylings of the hip-hop trio before them.

“I normally get the piss taken out of me for my choice of music,” he joked.

“Mine’s very varied — I like rock, Linkin Park… Kanye West.”

His marksmanship impressed soldiers at a major army base on the city’s outskirts, winning approval with his willingness to get down on his belly for a live firing exercise with elite snipers returned from Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I understand he has been in the Air Force,” said Private Jace Barnett of William, who graduated as a fully-fledged Royal Air Force helicopter pilot just before his trip to Australia.

“It would be a bit embarrassing if we let a Rafie beat us,” Barnett joked to state radio, admitting there had been some good-natured rivalry with the prince on the rifle range.

Second in line to the British throne, William was welcomed to Australia Tuesday with a traditional Aboriginal “smoking ceremony” in the poor inner-city neighbourhood of Redfern, which was presided over by an elder daubed in body paint and bearing smouldering gum leaves.

He met with Aboriginal elders to discuss, among other things, the repatriation of indigenous artefacts and remains, including the head of indigenous warrior Pemulwuy.

William reportedly slipped out for a seafood platter and a few beers at exclusive Sydney nightspot Bungalow 8 on Tuesday night.

He will visit bushfire-ravaged areas near Melbourne on Thursday before returning home the following day. His Australia tour follows an official visit to New Zealand, where he represented his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II for the first time.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Ronaldo turns on style as Real advance in Champions League

In Vietnam Sports on December 9, 2009 at 1:32 pm

MARSEILLE, France (AFP) – Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo turned on the style with Real Madrid Tuesday as the Spanish giants advanced with ease to the knock-out round of the Champions League with a 3-1 victory at Marseille.

A double from Ronaldo and a Raul Albiol goal ensured the nine-time European champions lead the way in their Group C and go through to the second round after their 3-0 reverse fixture win.

Cristiano Ronaldo takes a free-kick to score against Marseille during their UEFA Champions League football match in Marseille, southern France (AFP photo)

The win spelled the end of Marseille’s Champions League dream with their coach Didier Deschamps paying tribute to their opponents.

“There is a difference between Marseille and Real Madrid. I knew it before and I know it even better now,” said the Marseille coach.

“They are better technically, there’s no doubt about it. We could only hope and admit it’s a pity we missed out on chances.”

Ronaldo showed he was back at his best after his two months on the sidelines with an ankle injury following a tackle by Marseille defender Souleymane Diawara at the Santiago Bernabeu on September 30.

And the striker, already the author of a double in the reverse leg victory, put his side on their road to victory after just five minutes at the Velodrome.

Deschamps’ side had been given a mountain to climb and their misery was compounded within minutes after Real were awarded a free kick following a Djibril Cisse challenge on Dutch midfielder Rafael Van der Vaart.

Ronaldo stepped up and from 30 metres out the world’s most expensive footballer fired a curling shot, which grazed the fingers of Marseille goalie Steve Mandanda, into the top left corner of the net.

The hosts refused to be browbeaten, rallying their forces and their persistence paid off six minutes later when midfielder Lucho pulled Marseille level after a Brandao header was cleared by Raul Albiol straight into the Argentinian striker’s path.

Brandao looked to have pulled Marseille ahead nine minutes later but his delight was short lived as he was ruled offside.

But Real showed their determination not to sit back on their advantage consistently pushing forward to worry the Marseille defence.

The visitors missed a golden opportunity to add to their tally after 28 minutes when a Van der Vaart corner resulted in a melee in front of the Marseille goal.

Mandanda did well to pull off successive saves following a barrage of efforts from Sergio Ramos, Gonzalo Higuain and Pepe before a Ronaldo shot hit the post.

Six minutes later Real missed another chance after Ronaldo picked up a Ramos centre only for the ball to fly just over the bar.

Marseille were lucky to leave the pitch level at the half-time mark following a scramble on front of their goal in the dying minutes with both Marcelo and Ronaldo missing the target.

After the break the Spaniards continued to push forward and the pressure paid off after 60 minutes when Albiol finished off a Van der Vaart corner.

Marseille’s slender hopes dived further five minutes later after missing a penalty awarded for a blatant Iker Casillas foul on Mamadou Niang which resulted in the Senegalese international being stretchered with a shoulder injury.

Lucho stepped up to take the shot which left Deschamps shaking his head in disbelief as it hit the bar.

Ronaldo compounded their misery after 80 minutes after an error from Mandanda allowed the Portuguese player to fire into an empty net with Karim Benzema coming close to a fourth minutes later but his effort went wide.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Ronaldo back as Real close in on knockout stage

In Vietnam Sports on November 27, 2009 at 2:23 am

MADRID, Nov 26, 2009 (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo ended two months of injury torment with a 20-minute appearance as Real Madrid put one foot in the Champions League knockout phase with a 1-0 Group C home win over FC Zurich on Wednesday.

A 21st minute goal from Argentine Gonzalo Higuain secured a narrow victory for Real who now lead the group, two points ahead of AC Milan who drew 1-1 with Marseille, and need just a point in the final game at Marseille to secure qualification.

“I am scoring some goals which is nice but the most important thing is we are winning,” said Higuain. “This win boosts our chances of qualifying for the next phase of the Champions League and also gives us confidence for the Barcelona game at the weekend.”

Ronaldo, top-scorer in this season’s Champions League with four goals in two games, came on in the 69th minute after eight weeks out with an ankle injury and is now ready for ‘El Clasico’ against Barcelona on Sunday.

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo (L) replaces Raul during a UEFA Champions League football against Zurich at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, on November 25, 2009. AFP PHOTO

Real lead the Spanish table by one point from champions Barcelona going into the duel at Camp Nou.

“It is good to see Cristiano back as he is very important for us and could help us win (against Barcelona) on Sunday,” said defender Pepe. “It is a big game for us and we will be very motivated to try and win there.”

The Zurich match was a landmark game for Real goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who was making his 100th Champions League appearance putting him third in the all-time list led by captain Raul on 129.

Raul had been on the substitutes’ bench for the past three consecutive league games but returned for the Zurich game with French striker Karim Benzema making way.

Just four minutes into the match Brazilian Kaka showed quick feet to create a shooting chance and his left-footed drive was tipped over.

Zurich had caused a major upset by beating AC Milan 1-0 on their own patch but were cautious at the Santiago Bernabeu putting numbers behind the ball and playing on the counter attack.

Real probed and got the early breakthrough they craved on 21 minutes with Kaka stealing possession and threading a pass to Higuain who finished with aplomb to enhance his claim for a starting place against Barcelona.

Xabi Alonso, celebrating his 28th birthday, almost scored his first Real goal with his 26th minute drive pushed wide by goalkeeper Johnny Leoni.

A training ground routine almost provided the second for Real with Higuain cutting a corner back to the edge of the penalty area and thundering a volley against the post in the 36th minute.

Zurich had offered little and a decent long distance shot from Alexandre Alphonse was their only effort of note but Casillas always looked in control.

After the break Real went in search of a second goal while Zurich continued to offer little from an attacking point of view.

Ronaldo warmed up on the touchlines to draw applause from the home crowd.

However, Dutch midfielder Rafael van der Vaart, playing for his future at the club, was the first substitution, replacing Alvaro Arbeloa close to the hour mark.

Real were struggling to create chances and Zurich grew in confidence with the impressive Alphonse causing some problems with his running from deep.

After 69 minutes Real coach Manuel Pellegrini delighted the home crowd by introducing Ronaldo – missing for the past ten games – with Raul coming off.

Ronaldo, who showed some nice touches, came through the match unscathed which was the most important thing from Real’s point of view.

The former Manchester United man almost scored in the final minute after a good one-two with Esteban Granero but his left-footed shot lacked the power.

All in all the second half display was below-par from Real and they will have to raise their game for treble winners Barcelona on Sunday.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

The real dirt on the northwest

In Vietnam Tour on October 18, 2009 at 3:03 am

The real dirt on the northwest

QĐND – Saturday, October 17, 2009, 19:24 (GMT+7)

Bike tours to the rugged region offer a more direct experience of the life of its people.

It is probably not everyone’s cup of tea, but discovering Vietnam’s rugged and scenic northwest on a motorbike is more than an exhilarating experience.

Those who have undertaken it say it enables them to see “life as it truly is for the Vietnamese people.”

Dramatic landscapes and sweeping panoramas become more direct and intense when the visitor is not enclosed within a vehicle. Watching the rural population doing about its business also becomes a more intimate affair.

“We started the itinerary to four mountainous provinces – Hoa Binh, Son La, Dien Bien, Lao Cai – in the northwest region with a 130 km ride to Mai Chau,” said Andre Prince, who took the 7-day journey with six friends from Canada.

Together with a tour guide, they left Hanoi at 8:30 a.m. and rode the dirt-bikes (175cc and 250cc Yamahas and Hondas) west to Mai Chau, home to the Thai ethnic minority.

They traveled on road No. 6 passing expansive rice paddies and scenic villages and stopped for refreshment before tackling 70km of undulating roads with great views of mountains and valleys before reaching Mai Chau at noon.

“We were really impressed by the traditional stilt-houses, the dances and meals at Pom Coong, a village of the White Thai ethnic minority,” said Andre.

The group left for Son La Province the next morning.

Kien, the tour guide, said the motorbike trip of about 1,000 km is wonderful for those who have good health and like more adventure in their travels. The tour is also great for finding several vantage spots for photography, he added.

Besides the tea plantations in Moc Chau Plateau – the destination of the best green tea in Vietnam that grows along the roads on the hillsides in Son La, the valley of Dien Bien Phu also offers magnificent views.

Here “the ride is more adventurous with more winding roads and longer passes, while offering more colorful minority groups and more stunning scenery,” said Andre, adding that the highlight of Dien Bien Province could be the impressive Pha Din

Pass, which means Heaven-Earth. According to local legend, it was the frontier between Heaven and Earth. Pha Din is some 1,000m above sea-level.

“Climbing and descending the slopes with their many bends and deep gorges is a really unforgettable experience,” Andre said.

The fourth day was scheduled for Lao Cai, where stops at H’mong and Dao villages refreshed the crew after a 225 km ride along stunning gorges and the Nam Na River.

Fittingly, Sa Pa was the pinnacle of the trip, where the group stayed for two days and visited several ethnic minority villages deep in the forest.

“Sa Pa is a paradise for trekking lovers. It has so many routes with views of beautiful terraced fields, diverse minority groups and the highest peak in Indochina, the Fansipan.”

The group also got off their bikes to take a jeep ride downhill to the Muong Hoa Valley, where they trekked on dirt paths through pine forest, terraced fields and H’mong villages. En route they stopped to visit minority schools and had a picnic lunch by the river.

Source: TN

Source: QDND Bookmark & Share

Real estate sector has ample room for growth

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2008 at 12:09 pm

HCM CITY — Experts at the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI) Asia Pacific conference in HCM City are optimistic about the development of the real estate market in Viet Nam.

Matthew Koziora, sales and marketing director for VinaCapital Real Estate, said yesterday the country had excellent growth prospects and an administration increasingly open to foreign and private sector investment.

“Many multinational companies apply the China-plus-one strategy and Viet Nam is increasingly the alternative as China becomes a more expensive place to operate,” said Koziora.

Though Viet Nam is not immune from the global credit crunch and foreign direct investment (FDI) disbursement could slow, its improving balance of payments, and solid foreign reserves are strong indicators that a currency “meltdown” is unlikely, according to the director.

Meanwhile, given the current credit slowdown in Viet Nam caused in large part by the Government’s monetary tightening policy, foreign investors have the opportunity to fill the gap.

According to Koziora, real estate will continue to be in high demand due to increasing industrialisation and urbanisation. Low to mid-range apartments are selling because of their affordability and reasonable payment terms as well as a real demand.

HCM City now has 150,000 sq.m. in 15 shopping centres and departments stores, but does not have enough “purpose built” retail facilities.

Around 50,000 expatriates currently live in HCM City but only 3,000 serviced apartments are available. More units should be available by 2010.

With international visitors on the rise, the city also faces a shortage of hotel rooms. There are currently fewer than 7,000 rooms in three to five star hotels. In the first six months of the year, 2.3 million foreign tourists came to HCM City. Some 4.5 million foreign arrivals are expected this year.

Do Thi Loan, HoREA secretary general, views the area’s rising population, with 85 per cent of people living in urban areas, as an opportunity for residential investment projects. She also cited Viet Nam’s peak position in the world’s 10 most attractive retail markets as another encouraging condition for real estate development.

Truong Trong Nghia, president of the Investment and Trade Promotion Center, pointed out the Government’s targets for 2020 of turning HCM City into a metropolis of 10 million residents, characterised by hi-tech industries, high end services, and science and technological facilities as room for growth. The Government also plans to increase the average housing area from the current 11.5 sq.m to 17 sq.m per person.

He also cited projects awaiting investment, such as creating new urban centres in Thu Thiem and Cu Chi and expanding Tan Son Nhat Airport to allow 10 million passengers in 2010 and 20 million in 2020, as signs for optimism.

At the ongoing two-day conference, hosted for the first time in Viet Nam by the HCM City Real Estate Association (HoREA), delegates will discuss: international property transaction trends in Asia, developing low-cost housing, financing for housing developers and buyers, lessons from Singapore and Indonesia, and prospects for condo hotels in the Asia Pacific region, among others —