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Vietnam’s property market still offers returns for investors even as prices have fallen by as much as 40 percent this year, Professional Property Services said.

“Supply has lagged demand over the last two, three years and it still lags demand,” said Margaret Brooke, chief executive officer at the real estate consulting company.
They need more offices, residential, they need very much more retail.

The property market’s “fundamentals’’ remain intact even with slower sales in the next year, Brooke said in a Bloomberg Television interview last Friday, adding that investors have to take a longer-term view.

Vietnam’s economy expanded 8.5 percent last year, the fastest pace since 1996, as demand for manufacturing and services rose after the country joined the World Trade Organization in January 2007.

The growth forecast for 2008, which was cut this week to 7 percent from as much as 9 percent, still remains one of the highest in Southeast Asia.

Vietnam is still a “strong market’’ with a lot of buyer interest, said Brooke, whose Hong Kong-based company has advise clients about the country’s property industry since the 1990s.

Apartment prices in Ho Chi Minh City have declined by as much as 50 percent since January.

Keppel Land, Singapore’s third-largest developer, said June 4 that the government is taking “proactive measures” to address its economic challenges and its Vietnam office leases and home sales remain “good.”

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