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By Juwai, 14 November 2021
Since August 23rd 2021, Ho Chi Minh City has tightened its COVID-19 restrictions, requiring residents to “stay where they are”, isolating homes from homes, streets from streets and wards from wards.
The city of 13 million is also under a strict curfew between 6 PM and 6 AM the very next day, except for medical emergencies. The current (endless) lockdown has delayed and put most real estate activities, especially property handover and property rental visits.
Property Handover and Rental Visits Put on Hold
One of the best examples is the launch of The Metropole Thu Thiem, a premium residential project in the hottest real estate area of HCMC.
Handover of a 3BD apartment in Empire City, HCMC.
As a matter of fact, owners of The Metropole Thu Thiem received several updates of their property handover being postponed until further notice. The handover dates released by the developer Sonkim Land have initially been scheduled at the end of July. The same story also applies to other condominium owners within the HCMC area, which were supposed to furnish and find tenants to rent their apartments.
Taking Advantage of The Lockdown
While most of the property owners and real estate agencies are waiting for the lockdown to be lifted, some owners have decided to take advantage of the calm period to optimise their investment:
Action 1: Prepare to furnish the property
Owners who recently acquired one or several condominium properties have been planning to lease them to optimise their return on investment. The fact is that more than 80% of local and expatriate tenants searching for renting high-end apartments request fully furnished apartments.
During this lockdown, some owners have been working with their real estate agents and furnishing companies to prepare the property furnishing. As soon as the lockdown is lifted, furniture and appliances can be installed, and agents can start welcoming potential tenants.
Furniture workshops and factories supplying the HCMC housing market are mainly located in neighbouring cities and provinces. Due to Covid cases and strict lockdown, most of them have been forced to close or temporarily stop production permanently. It is then difficult for most furnishing companies in HCMC to provide correct quotations.
Tip: Some furnishing companies, having factories in green areas such as the province of Cu Chi located in the North West of HCMC or factories still operating to deliver furniture export orders, are still operating and can provide accurate quotations.
Action 2: Prepare to Handover the property
Some owners are still waiting to hand over their properties. Many documents need to be prepared and ready to ensure the handover meeting goes smoothly. It is even more important for foreign owners who cannot travel to Vietnam for the Handover. Below is the list of the three main documents to prepare:
● Handover registration form and ID card of the person signing the handover form
● List of items to collect during the Handover, including keys, housewarming gifts, property box with floor plan and documents related to the apartment.
● Construction defect inspection checklist
Action 3: Prepare the next investment move
Due to social distancing and travel restrictions in HCMC, one of the most evident real estate market trends is its adaptation to the ‘new normal. Many industry players are launching mobile apps, allowing buyers to access the latest information, get sales support, choose a property, make a booking and deposit, and proceed to contract with electronic signatures. Masterise Homes, one of the major developers in Vietnam, recently announced the launch of its new home buying app.
With the Ho Chi Minh City authorities’ recent plan to open up, all industry players and real estate investors are rushing to optimise their current property investment, prepare their next move and adapt at the end of the ‘new normal’.
CBRE Real Estate Market Update For Q2 2021
Jonathan Dao from Connecty contributed to this article.