Quality property investors starting to buy again in Vietnam

Vietnam's property market is showing signs of recovery with quality investors now entering the market as opposed to speculators.

Improved lending conditions are one of the main reasons that people are beginning to put money back into property, according to Peter Ryder, chief executive officer and founding partner of Indochina Capital.

'People are beginning to spend and it isn't speculative fervour. We're seeing much more end users, true investor types buying into our properties which are a good sign of recovery in Vietnam,' he explained.

Prices are also encouraging investors. Prime properties in Saigon and peripheral areas have dropped by up to 50%.

The revived interest is also encouraging developers with stalled projects to start them again as well as launching new projects.

Work on one of the largest trade centres in the country is to begin next month. The $25 billion project in Hanoi will include retail, hypermarkets, a cinema and restaurants.

Three other key projects in have also been announced. The Babylon Residence in Thu Duc district of Ho Chi Minh City will provide 624 units including 34 four-storey detached houses with garden and 590 apartments.

The Morning Plaza in the city's Binh Thanh district an 18-storey building with 203 high-class apartments. Sun View Apartment, also in Thu Duc district has two 15-storey blocks with 448 apartments.

Work on the $1.8 billion Starbay Resort on Phu Quoc Island is also scheduled to start soon and announcements on other delayed or stalled projects are in the pipeline. Phu Quoc Island, nearly an hour's flying from HCMC, has a coastline of some 150 kilometers and is regarded as an important part of the future of property development in Vietnam.

In late 2005, the then Prime Minister Phan Van Khai approved an overall scheme to develop Phu Quoc Island into a tourist paradise able to attract 500,000 to 600,000 tourists in 2010 and two to three million guests a year by 2020.

Condo developers are also starting to sell apartments again. 'The recent stock market rallies have given a lifeline to the dormant property market as winning stock investors have turned to real estate as a safe-haven as was seen in 2007,' explained analyst Cho Li Wang.