A real estate investment ecosystem full of energy, colour and life, in part due to its dynamism and rapid economic progress. The very foundation of its huge investment potential lies in:
Although deliberate policy decisions against corruption may have caused a supply slow down and demand glut in recent years forcing real estate prices upwards, Vietnam’s long-term prospect remains attractive enough for the real estate marketing to remain lucrative with opportunities still available. The potential for capital appreciation in Vietnam’s real estate lies in its strong economic fundamentals:
Prospective investors can consider investing in a residential property in Vietnam for the following reasons:
Ho Chi Minh City
Comprising of 1 sub-city, 16 urban districts and 5 rural districts, Ho Chi Minh City is at the forefront of Vietnam’s economic drive and reforms. It provides one of the top real estate investment destination in the world; filled with raw potential supported by favourable demographic and economic factors. A city under transition whereby the cityscape is dotted by evidence of the old making way for the new: modern skyscrapers rising up from among dilapidated buildings, modern designs replacing colonial architecture and local retail outlets replaced by global brand names.
Rapid improvements to infrastructure have allowed areas around the city once with difficult access to develop on a large scale. As migration to the city and urbanization continues to keep pace with each other, HCMC will need to develop all available land on the peripheries of District 1 the Central Business District (CBD) and plan for satellite urban centres in outlying districts to better utilize the finite space within the confines of the city. Thus, paving the way for a vibrant and dynamic real estate market loaded with massive investment opportunities.
The majority of real estate investments both domestic and foreign are centered in the Central Business District (District 1) and its fringes (Districts 3, 4, 5, parts of 2, parts of 8 and Binh Thanh). Additional areas of significance are satellite urban centres that are being developed in strategic areas around the city; they comprise of District 2 and District 7. Such areas typically offer high rental yields and capital gains in real estate investments.
Key Ho Chi Minh City Regions
Thu Duc City (Eastern Satellite Region): Encompassing the former districts of 2, 9 and Thu Duc, Thu Duc City is envisioned to be a district-level new innovation hub for Ho Chi Minh City. Behind the decision of creating a city (Thu Duc City) within a city (HCMC), is the complementary socio-economic profiles of the combined three districts. Vietnam’s government vision appears to be a desire to foster innovative ecosystems through agglomeration effects. This means placing innovative industries in close proximity to one another in order to facilitate integrated economic production. This strategy is similar to development plans in Shanghai in China and Gangnam in South Korea.
While District 9 hosts a technology hub, District 2 will be developed into an upmarket mixed-use urban space and Thu Duc District as a major education hub. The three components of the new urban unit are key to this objective:
- District 9 hosts the hi-tech hub and is often referred to as a ‘Technopolis’. Since 2017, the District has expanded its urban use to include tech companies, medical facilities, warehouses, service industries and commercial complexes.
- District 2 is where the Thu Thiem New Urban Area is located. This urban space is considered key to extending Ho Chi Minh City’s central business district and is expected to develop into a mixed-use centre. The development plan includes ecologically designed residential spaces and public transit connectivity.
- Thu Duc District hosts 12 universities including Vietnam National University and is home to over 70,000 students. This is key to supplying a skilled workforce to knowledge-intensive enterprises located in the area.
The existing trend of new apartment supply is significantly skewed to the east of HCMC, which has been merged into Thu Duc City.
Downtown HCMC: Embedded at the very center of HCMC, District 1, District 3, District 5, District 10 and Phu Nhuan District is where most of the activities take place in Ho Chi Minh City. This downtown area is where commercial, finance, tourism and entertainment activities are found. Here you will find a mix of narrow Vietnamese townhouses, conserved colonial French architecture amidst modern high-rise buildings.
Downtown HCMC is also where many companies choose to headquarter their corporate offices and where the majority of popular food and beverage/retail brands locates, giving rise to a wide range of eating options with cuisines from all around the world. While the Downtown are in HCMC certainly gives out a more modern vibe to much of the rest of the City, it is still uniquely Vietnamese in character: the streets are lined with old houses, and are narrow with congested vehicle traffic. If you prioritise convenience and like the bright lights of the city, it can make an excellent choice to settle in.
Housing in Downtown HCMC is typically high-end to luxury class properties with a sprinkling of mid-end apartments. However, inventory is typically limited and prices for residential apartments across all market segments are the most expensive here. Future supply is also expected to be very limited in Downtown HCMC, and as such prices are expected to appreciate steadily in the long-term.
Saigon South New Urban Area: A masterplan conceived by the municipal government to include parts of District 7, District 8, Nha Be District and Binh Chanh District. Its centrepiece is the matured Phu My Hung urban township, located around 40 minutes’ drive to the south of Ho Chi Minh City’s downtown. Conceived as a ‘satellite town’ for HCMC, and has been designed from ground up with wide tree lined roads and clusters of towering apartment blocks mixed in with low-rise landed housing.
Since this area was properly conceptualized and built, it feels very much like a model urban town with distinct green spaces, sports facilities, swimming pools and international schools/universities. There are many expatriates living here, the biggest group of which are East Asians such as Koreans and Taiwanese, but there are a growing number of Western expatriates too. Moreover, lots of well-to-do Vietnamese families have called Phu My Hung home, where they enjoy a higher standard of living.
Phu My Hung is certainly not your typical Vietnamese experience, but if you can’t take the noise and chaos of the city centre or wish to raise your kids with a bit of space to run around it is not a bad option. However, it is important to note that the Saigon South New Urban Area is not all Phu My Hung, there are outer lying areas surrounding Phu My Hung that is part of its conceptualised masterplan as well, however due to poor execution of this masterplan, these areas are generally characterized by urban sprawl, unplanned mushrooming of townhouses and low-end housing, giving it a typical feel of a Vietnamese provincial town.
Buyers’ demand for apartments in Saigon South is driven by the attractiveness of its matured development status and strong end-user demand, as a result, new project launch prices have remained high.
District 4: Used to be known as a lawless district, home to HCMC’s main port and many of the city’s poor gave rise to high crime rates here. This seems to be a thing of the past, and improved bridges and roads to District 1 has seen a recent steep increase in land prices as more high-end apartments and office buildings are built. In some parts of District 4 a commute into Downtown District 1 might only take 5 minutes, and rents are significantly cheaper than District 1. With the port earmarked to close in years to come and the whole area due for commercial redevelopment along the Saigon River transforming it into an upmarket area; it will be a planned extension of the CBD. But for now it is more of a thoroughfare between Districts 1 and 7.
District 4 in the masterplan plan for HCMC, sits on a privileged location, being next to CBD just across the Ben Nghe River, naturally it will be the most logical and natural area to broaden the CBD. District 4 is a potential place for you to buy or invest in real estate products, especially in the present time. Recently, many high-end apartment projects have sprout out in close proximity to District 1 as opposed to the development of mid-end projects previously.
Binh Thanh District: Squeezed between Downtown HCMC and Thu Duc City, Binh Thanh District is at the forefront of Ho Chi Minh City’s gentrification. Binh Thanh District is rapidly progressing largely due to the favourable location it enjoys on the periphery of Downtown HCMC and an important thoroughfare to and from Thu Duc City, making it prosper as a natural extension as HCMC’s Downtown expands.
Along with the more recent high-end apartment supply, comes a wider supply of housing in the mid-end segment, real estate prices in Binh Thanh District are predicted to keep increasing as high-end projects continue to materialize.