Eco real estate projects booming in Vietnam but experts warn there are no standards

Eco friendly resort developments could be the next big attraction in the real estate market in Vietnam but experts are warning that there are no standards.

In fact it is quite possible that projects can be labelled green but actually have very few environmentally friendly attributes, according to Nguyen Xuan Chau, Lecturer at the Economics University in Ho Chi Minh.
The Ministry of Construction confirmed that it does not have any standards for ecological real estate products. ‘It is quite a new concept here,’ a spokesman said.
Chau said that there is no exact description of what can be called an ecological real estate project and he is concerned that property investors may be being given false information by developers and agents.
He added that so-called green projects are often priced higher and are located in beautiful locations where perhaps their impact on the environment is even more questionable.
According to recent reports from consultants eco-friendly apartments sell well and are rapidly being developed in coastal areas and alongside waterways. Dong Nai province has more projects dubbed ecological than any other area.
According to Marc Townsend, managing director of CB Richard Ellis, the resort real estate market has huge potential in Vietnam as the country’s tourism sector is still under developed compared with other neighbouring regions such as Bali.
The sector is regarded as a god opportunity for real estate investors as tourism numbers are expected to increase in coming years. At present, many investors are eying coastal property projects embedded with tourism development goals.
According to figures from the General Tourism Office there were 4.2 million tourists in 2008 bringing in a total turnover of $3 billion. In the first half of 2009, over two million of tourists visited Vietnam, bringing in revenue of $1.9 billion. This year it is predicted that around 6 million tourists will visit bringing in over $4 billion in revenue.
Nguyen Quang Hai, chairman of the An Phat Group, said that previously investors bought tended to be speculators but now there are more seeking a long term investment that brings a steady return and in this respect tourism projects are ideal. He added that he believes that projects that are sustainable and ecological will prove to be the most popular with investors.