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House prices
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Guiza



Joined: 20 May 2011
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 6:01 am    Post subject: House prices Reply with quote

For people that have been here a while.

Anyone got any information about how house and apartment prices have changed over the last 5-10 years? I'm interested in finding out about the north side of the city, mainly Phu Nhuan and Tan Binh.

Thanks for your help.
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Okie from Muskogee



Joined: 31 Jan 2014
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To buy or to rent?

Vietnamese - normal price
Foreigner - double the normal price
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spycatcher reincarnated



Joined: 19 May 2005
Posts: 236

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This may help: http://www.globalpropertyguide.com/Asia/Vietnam
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Guiza



Joined: 20 May 2011
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks spycatcher, I wasn't aware of the slump that article shows.

Is it a totally foolish man who presumes that "it's a developing country therefore, surely, house prices will have to go up over the next 5-10 years?" In spite of reading articles like that.

Everything else is going up in price, ergo so must house prices??
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skarper



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 469

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't get me started on this! Anybody buying a house in Vietnam is entering into a very high risk gamble.

I doubt I'd ever buy a house here but certainly not before the inevitable 20-30% - maybe 50% correction in prices.
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ExpatLuke



Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 743

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Foriegners can only own the property for 50 years as well. From what I've heard, after 50 years it reverts back to state ownership. So it's best not to buy property unless you're married, willing to put it in her name, and let them go negotiate the price without the sellers knowing a foreigner is involved.
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skarper



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 469

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ExpatLuke wrote:
So it's best not to buy property unless you're married, willing to put it in her name, and let them go negotiate the price without the sellers knowing a foreigner is involved.


This is absolutely basic - but worth repeating. Even then I think the price is likely to be inflated because Vietnamese have a pretty twisted view of land and property assets - they really do seem to believe they cannot go down in value!

I have had a lot of spats with my wife about this - though it is beyond our means to buy anything for at least 5 years anyway so all a bit academic. She is an intelligent woman but this appears to be a blind spot there is just no getting past.
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Okie from Muskogee



Joined: 31 Jan 2014
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although the housing market is inflated, I doubt that it will correct itself by 20-50% as long as there are people with money who can afford it. The rule of thumb for buying a house is to buy it (in cash) when you can afford it. Look at it as a long-term investment. It will give you stability knowing that you own something of great value. It will pay for itself in a long run as you are no longer obligated to pay rent. Also, effect on inflation will be limited since you no longer have the inflated housing(rental) expense. At the same time your property valued will increase. A friend of mine recently built a new house with his wife. They are kicking themselves for waiting 10 years before they finally decided on it. It could have cost them less than 1/2 of what they spent recently and the value of their property would be almost double what it was 10 years ago. Vietnam is still an emerging market. If you have the doe and someone you can really trust (like your wife?), real-estate is probably the best investment.
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calidan



Joined: 06 Aug 2014
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to (mostly) side with Okie on this one. Real estate is one of the few things you can buy whose value keep pace with inflation in the long term. There are always downturns in the market -- those are buying opportunities. It really comes down to return on investment. $100,000 invested in equities may provide you a 4% return over time (adjusted for inflation). 4% of $100,000 is $4000 per year, or $333 per month. If you have to pay taxes on that, it's even less.

So, the question is, if you can buy a place for $100,000, can you rent a similar place for less than $333 per month? If so, keep the money invested elsewhere. If not, perhaps the house purchase isn't a bad deal, especially if you can use it to generate additional income (say, by subletting a portion of it).
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skarper



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 469

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Something you have to factor in is houses are so poorly built few are habitable after 20 years. So budget to rebuild every 25 years or so.

Also - 100,000 USD is a pretty cheap house. Small and not in a good area. Such houses can usually be rented for about $250-300 a month in DaNang - less if you can shop around. Unsure of current Hanoi prices but must be broadly similar. Renting has no costs for repairs, maintenance, insurance etc and low taxes that are included in the the rent. You also have instant flexibility [don't give them more than 3-4 months rent at a time!] if you need to downsize or want to upsize.....

I dunno - people will do their own sums and make their own decisions but on a purely financial level it is not worth IMO.

Add in what happens if someone knocks down the house next door and builds a 12 story hotel - thereby undermining your house's foundations?? Happened in a rented house we had a few years back. Landlady was well off and had powerful connections so was able to sue them and got her house partially rebuilt but if you're Joe foreigner and his local wife I would not relish the court case or my chances of winning without a long and bitter battle.

Think long and hard - do the maths - think again - and only go into this with eyes wide open and money you can afford to leave tied up for decades.
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calidan



Joined: 06 Aug 2014
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The $100,000 number was just a hypothetical price to make the math simple. I don't know enough of housing market in Vietnam to give specifics.

There are certainly risks with home ownership and it's somewhat a gamble, but the same can be said for nearly any investment. I also don't have a lot of confidence in Wall Street, with the large number of Chinese and Russian hackers out there, which concerns me far more than somebody building next to me and undermining my foundation.

The illiquidity of real estate is an issue, but you always need a place to live, so owning something provides you the benefit of peace-of-mind. It's also a hedge against inflation, which could possibly hurt you in 10-20 years if you're renting. And if you think of a house as a bit of a luxury that has some intrisic value to you, that's also worth something.

It comes down to your long-term goals and where your money is. If you're middle-aged, there's no way I'd put my life savings in any one investment, real estate or not. But, if you can have, say, 1/4 or your net worth in a house, that's not so bad.
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skarper



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 469

PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed. It depends very much on your circumstances. If you are already rather rich - like half a million USD rich - then OK why not put 100-200K into a house...

But for the other 90% of us who are just getting by and struggling to save an emergency fund - buying houses is a seriously dumb idea anywhere in the world but especially here.

It's obvious no-one should borrow substantial sums of money to buy a house.

Although there is a conspiracy to keep mum about it the global economic meltdown of 2008 has not gone away - and add in wars and rumours of wars and I feel security is in mobility.

Also - if you put the house in your wife's name and get divorced you will lose it all. Same if she dies you could be evicted and her family take it over. OK - nightmare scenarios but it happens.

I won't even mention the risks of a crooked wife borrowing money on the house behind your back and then running off leaving you in the lurch.

But people can make up their own minds based on their own circumstances and how much they trust their wives.

I trust mine but I have already been divorced once and got cleaned out so I know how nasty and unreasonable people can be in a crisis.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 833

PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have several houses in the U.S. One of them is worth about the same as the house I am renting here. However, the rental income from that house is about 3 times as much as I pay for this house. Return on your invested dollar is far higher there than here.

Additionally, one owns the land in the U.S. Here, all land is actually owned by the state. You just lease it for a while.

God only knows what is going to happen with the flooding here. Saw some last night, the rain had stopped, but the water (sewage, actually) was coming out of the drainage systems on some major roads I travel. Nice. Parts of the city may become unusable as time goes on. This is mostly low land. I bet by U.S. standards with the 100 year flood zones they like to enforce, half of it would already be considered flood plain.

Finally, there is always the great likelihood of losing your investment here because of the partnership arrangement you have.

There may be some scenarios where real estate here is a good play. But I know that I am very pleased I have the freedom to rent here and own there. When I find myself wanting another property, I will pick up another back in the U.S. I just find the dangers of losing everything far greater here than there, then the return on investment makes it crazy to even think about. Add in that you do not own the land here, it is insanity (or at least it is to me).
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skarper



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 469

PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed. Many of the things taken for granted in the UK/US/OZ etc [perhaps in error even there] just do not apply here. It makes renting the smarter move for virtually everyone here.
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mushroom_season



Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 42

PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Real estate here is only worth it if you trust your wife and not intend to speculate. If you dont trust her. Why are you married?
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