An artist's impression of a luxury apartment in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo courtesy of Keenland.
An apartment project with a record-high price tag of $18,000 per square meter has recently been launched in HCMC, showcasing increasing demand in the luxury segment.
The price tag is 2.6 times the luxury segment average in the city at $6,900 per square meter, according to data from real estate consultancy CBRE. Most real estate consultancies define a luxury apartment as one that is priced $4,000 or higher.
The project is located on Ton Duc Thang Street that runs alongside the Saigon River in District 1. Its apartment prices range from VND18-24 billion ($780,000-1 million) per unit, with areas depending on acreages from 40-110 square meters.
The project has low construction density with trees covering 60 percent of the total area. Each floor has 10 apartments and eight elevators.
Data from real estate consultancy Savills shows that Vietnam is among the top 10 fastest growing branded residences real estate market in the world, alongside Malaysia, the U.K. and Australia. Branded residences are products created by a real estate developer with a well-known manager.
Matthew Powell, director of Savills Hanoi, said that in Vietnam, many buyers looking for property in the luxury segment with the highest quality for either rental or residence purposes.
The boom in this type of apartment is changing the structure of the real estate market. The luxury segment accounted for 39 percent of total apartment supply in HCMC as of the end March, exceeding the 20 percent of the high-end segment, according to CBRE.
However, observers are concerned about the imbalance this implies. Nguyen Loc Hanh, CEO of HCMC-based Asia Gem Real Estate Investment, said that 39 percent is too large a ratio for the luxury segment and it does not represent a sustainable real estate market.
Experts have been advising for the last several decades that the ratio is kept at just 1-2 percent, he noted, adding the the current ratio shows developers are only aiming at very rich buyers.
Other industry insiders say that there is still a lot of ambiguity on the criteria for the luxury segment, and that it is too early to identify whether the record-high prices correctly reflect the value of the asset.