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CBRE sees opportunities in gloomy property market9:13' 1/25/2011

There are still business opportunities for corporate and individual investors in the currently dismal property market, Marc Townsend, managing director of CB Richard Ellis Vietnam, has said.
According to Townsend, housing prices in HCMC are stable and in Hanoi, prices are running wild but will become more stable in the coming time.
Unsold apartments in Hanoi are now numbered 16,000 units and this year will see an extra 22,000 units on the market.
However, market movements are still unpredictable, so the no-rush attitude among buyers is prevalent at the moment. The percentage of successful apartment transactions in Hanoi last year declined significantly.
But the number of apartments sold in 2011 was almost the same as the average of previous years, indicating demand is still huge. CBRE thus expects the housing segment for average-income people with prices below VND12 million per square meter to recover first.
In addition, gold prices have shown signs of falling, so people may move from investing in gold to investing in property.
Given Hanoi City’s expansion last year and improved infrastructure, many new property projects are being developed on the outskirts, mostly in the western part.
With 4 overpasses to be completed this year, together with the expansion of Pham Van Dong Street in the west and Nguyen Van Linh in the east, and the Hanoi-Lao Cai high-rise building to be finalized in late this year, crossing the Red Hong River will no longer be a problem, Townsend said.
This attracts investors to projects in this area.The ecological urban area Vincom Village developed by Vingroup will quickly turn the eastern area into a potential place for investors and give a much-needed boost to the property market in the near future, Townsend said.
In the last 12 months, Vietnam has seen scores of projects changing hands with foreign involvement. Townsend said these transactions would pave the way for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) to flourish in 2012 and thereafter.