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Mid-price apartments overthrow low-price


Mulberry Lane project in Ha Dong

According to CBRE Vietnam, for the first time in two years low-priced products lost the dominant share.

Figures from the consultancy showed that more than 10 projects at the mid-price level saw increasing liquidity including Golden Westlake, Mandarin Garden, and NO4.

Richard Leech, executive director of CBRE Vietnam, said that this new trend may be considered developers’ response to market’s changing appetite to mid-priced products. “Unlike previous quarters in which transactions mostly occurred in the low price range, the last quarter of 2013 saw more transactions in the mid-price level. This is most likely driven by buyers’ increasing confidence, which also led to a 50 per cent quarter-on-quarter increase in total transaction volume,” Leech said.

Richard Leech, executive director of CBRE Vietnam said the changed trend may be a positive sign that developers anticipated the rise in demand for mid-price products. “The mid-price level made considerable gains in the last quarter against the rest of the year with many more transactions. This is likely being driven by increasing consumer confidence which pushed a 50 per cent transaction volume increase,” Leech explained.

However, also in the final quarter of 2013, Hanoi’s condominium market was cautious with only 1,400 units sold, a 30 per cent fall on-quarter.

Re-launches were much more active though, as developers focused on clearing old stock rather than releasing new products.

Following a record third quarter, the fourth saw the nearly as strong completion of 7,500 total units.

Hoa Binh Green City just put 300 apartments on sale with prices starting at VND20.5 million ($976) per square metre, excluding interiors, and VND26-29 million ($1,238 to $1,380) per square metre inclusive of interiors.

CapitaLand is also selling apartments in its Mulberry Lane project in Ha Dong district at prices of VND25 to 27 million ($1,190 to $1,285) per square metre. Another project in Cau Giay is offering units for just a fraction more.

Other projects along the same price lines are the Discovery Complex and Thang Long Number One.

The prices of secondary products however are still in a downward spiral, noted CBRE. Price drops in the fourth quarter were not as low as the first and second, but were bigger than quarter 3.

It is a fact that prices will not recover quickly as 2014 is expected to see another parade of openings that will increase competition and cast an even darker shadow over second hand units. Buyers are trending toward investing in just finished or very nearly finished properties to avoid handover quality and lateness issues. Quality projects are sure to see active sales in the coming time, but they shouldn’t expect demand to stimulate anything more than a modest price rise.


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