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VNRE - Looking at the current market trend, high-end apartment projects are facing more challenges in finding buyers given local property market difficulties as well as prices of high-end apartments going beyond many buyers’ budgets.

Developers in the segment, though, are not getting too downhearted and have created different ways to get their sales moving in a bid to quickly clear their stocks for investment return.

Besides offering incentives and using different pricing policies to draw buyers’ attention, some developers have decided to redesign their condo projects into smaller apartments to tailor buyers’ demand in the current market.

The market boom of 2007 made many developers active in HCMC and they ignored market research or surveying on what kind of housing products were suitable to the majority of buyers.

The feverish market offered developers a great chance of selling whatever they promised to build. However, those golden days are long gone with the market seeing many large and small condo projects under construction in the city.

Abundant supply has created tougher competition, and the current credit crunch has caused a significant impact on sales. So, many developers have made some adjustments to their products, including making apartments smaller in the hope of finding buyers.

Tran Xuan Dai Thang, general director of Alinco Company, a consultant and design company, told the Daily that some developers with high-end projects are going to accept losses in some areas rather than keeping current designs with huge apartments which are lying empty.

Thang said many developers realized that pricey, large apartments were out of most people’s price range.

She declined to give specifics but said that in four of the 10 condo projects that the company is designing are going to readjust apartment sizes, from the current 100 square meters to 70-80 square meters. Among these projects is a development with some 1,500 units in HCMC’s District 7.

Market difficulties are forcing developers to come up with unique ways to attract buyers to their projects. Flexible payments, a supporting interest rate and lucky draws with expensive prizes like cars are among incentives that some developers offer to lure buyers.

For example, Him Lam Land is trying to lure buyers to its Him Lam Riverside which has 314 apartments underway in HCMC’s District 7.

Under a sales program, 20 apartments will serve as serviced units with a guarantee that owners will earn from US$1,000 to US$1,500 per month within two years from the date of receiving their apartments.

Binh Thien An Real Estate Joint Stock Company (BTA) has designed a sales program for its Diamond Island Sky Resort project which is underway in District 2.

After drawing attention in the market with its million-dollar apartments, the company will launch smaller apartments from 82-110 square meters with prices ranging from US$270,000 to US$450,000 per unit, targeting individuals and young families.

Unlike other projects, BTA plans to continue to increase its apartments’ selling prices for the fourth time given the soaring price of building materials this year.

Explaining why BTA decided to increase selling prices at a time when many developers are trying to reduce prices to boost sales, Dang Hong Phong, sales and marketing director for the company, said the move aims to offset the soaring price of building materials as well as ensuring the investment value for buyers who have bought apartments in the project.

Thang of Alinco Company projected that the trend of redesigning would increase in the future as the market has seen many projects slow down and construction delays with buyers still showing a wait-and-see attitude hoping housing prices go down even further.

Reported by Dinh Dung | The Saigon Times

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