Vietnamese photographer captures stunning aerial photos of Saigon

A Ho Chi Minh City-based photographer has released a collection of photos capturing the iconic locations and landmarks of the southern metropolis from an aerial or bird’s eye view.

Nguyen Tan Tuan, with a great love for Saigon and passion for aerial photography, has been inspired to ‘give birth’ to beautiful photos of the dynamic city.

The photographer named the album “Saigon Skyline,” referring to the former name of Ho Chi Minh City, as he either snapped his shutter from atop the high-rise buildings in the city or shot the photos by a drone camera, or flycam.

“Photographers always have to choose between Ho Chi Minh City’s many unique high-rise buildings and architectural works, carefully studying the subject and selecting appropriate angles so that the photos are beautiful and new,” Tuan shared his experience of taking aerial photos.

Photo by Nguyen Tan Tuan/ source: tuoitrenews


November 20, 2018 / by / in
An austere house near Saigon recalls villages in northern Vietnam

Having pure cement floors and brick walls without cement paste, a house recalls the brick houses style of the ancient Vietnam’s village.

Located in Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City, a three-story house designed by architect Tran Hoang Trung and his colleagues at TD Solutions was finished on September 2018.

The area is divided into two parts for the garden and the house, whose cylinder shape is quite common among urban houses. However, the living space is quite airy with the a lot of trees.

The house was constructed based on the steel frame of an old house. Demolishing the whole building except for the frame, the designers create a brand new house.

The stairs are the highlight of the house. The side entrance leads to the garden, inviting more air and enhancing the connection between inner and outer space.

Materials from the old house including bricks, wooden floor and wooden doors are utilized for the new house’s construction to promote its simplicity.

The house becomes more authentic and connected to nature with pure cement floors or brick walls without cement paste.

There is many furniture made from natural and traditional materials, such as rush carpets, bamboo curtains, and cane lamps.

The study room in the third floor has a wooden bookshelf.

While the bedroom looks modern with windows, bed, curtain, it remains traditional with wooden furnitures and brick walls.

Next to the main house, the kitchen is built like a little corner in the garden, creating a warm and cozy atmosphere for family meals.



November 16, 2018 / by / in
Famous US Co-working Space Will Set Up in Ho Chi Minh City

WeWork, the third largest startup in the U.S., and the sixth largest in the world, is set to open a new office in Ho Chi Minh City late this year. In its latest report on the co-working space market in Vietnam, real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) said WeWork is looking to open an office on Doan Van Bo Street in District 4.

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The company recently did market research and customer surveys. The office, to open in December, will be the largest co-working space in Vietnam at 5,000 square meters. It was said the entry of global real estate startups is a positive sign.

WeWork, valued at $20 billion last year, was one of the largest startups in the U.S., behind only Uber and Airbnb, and the sixth largest in the world. Founded in 2010 it has 250,000 employees. It had acquired Chinese co-working space firm Naked Hub for $400 million last April, expanding its reach into the Asian market.

WeWork reported a rise in losses in the first half of this year to $723 million from $154 million a year earlier, according to Reuters. But JLL estimates it would continue to expand.

It said in its report: “We think Wework is likely to have a presence in most of the six Southeast Asia cities within the next 12 months. In addition, the company is likely to grow in terms of number of locations within each city as well.”

Vietnam has seen the co-working space market expand in recent years. Major local operators like Toong, UP, Circo and Dreamplex are all expanding at an accelerated rate, and the number of smaller operators with just one venue is also increasing. The Hive, a co-working space maker from Hong Kong, is planning to open a new facility by the end of this year in Ho Chi Minh City. The company already has one office on Xuan Thuy road in District 2 in the same city.

Real estate consultancy CBRE said the number of co-working offices in the country has grown by an average of 55 percent in the last five years. Most operators reported a very healthy 75-80 percent average occupancy rate as of last April.

Source: Vnexperess

September 20, 2018 / by / in
Lost the map for planning of Thu Thiem New Urban Area

A map for the planning of Ho Chi Minh City‘s Thu Thiem new urban area, which has been considered the most important part of the city’s modern development, has gone missing, officials told reporters on Wednesday.

“We have not been able to find the map,” said Nguyen Thanh Nha, director of the city’s Department of Planning and Architecture. He said that the city’s government agencies have been ordered to review all previous sources and consulting units in charge of the project, as well as the central government agencies.

The map is one of the two key documents that form the legal basis for the planning of the Thu Thiem new urban area project to the city’s east, besides a prime minister’s decision issued on June 4, 1996. Since 1995, many units which were originally in charge of the map have moved. They said they no longer have it in their possession.

key map of Thu Thiem New Urban Area, Thu Thiem New Urban Area, Thu Thiem District 2

Vo Van Hoan, chief of staff of the city’s People’s Committee, said that agencies are looking for the map, dismissing claims that it did not exist in the first place. The project had been approved with adequate papers. The Thu Thiem new urban area in District 2 spans 657 hectares (1,623-acre) across the Saigon River from the city’s central District 1. It is set to become one of the biggest international financial and commercial centers in Southeast Asia.

To develop this megaproject, the city had to spend 10 years moving 15,000 households out of Thu Thiem Peninsula to make room for the project, and had to pay affected households nearly VND30 trillion ($1.32 billion) in compensation. Many relocated households however have had disputes with the project’s operators regarding its defined boundaries and filed lawsuits against its developer.

At a meeting with the city’s chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong in 2016, representatives of the households with disputes claimed that their land did not lie inside the project’s area and therefore shouldn’t have been reclaimed. They also requested the city to show them a map of the project’s planning to clarify its boundaries, but the authorities were unable to fulfill this request at the time.

Source: Vnexpress

May 3, 2018 / by / in
How will the property market of HCMC be in 2018?

The property market will continue to grow this year, the HCM City Real Estate Association (HoREA) predicts. In a forecast it has sent to the Government, HoREA said one- and two-bedroom apartments price at below 1 billion VND (43,800 USD) would be the best-selling segment and have the highest liquidity.

“The social housing segment will further develop while there will be a restructure of the high-end segment to meet market demand,” it said. “Condotels and land plots in housing projects will continue to be in great demand. Disputes over apartment buildings will be more knotty and need to be resolved in a timely manner.” Le Hoang Chau, chairman of HoREA, said the city real estate market would expand this year to neighboring regions. Investors, both domestic and foreign, would strengthen co-operation, he said. The market will develop more steadily with online trading becoming more popular and more green constructions that are environment-friendly becoming trendy.

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The association said there would be a raft of mergers and acquisitions this year, boosting construction activities in the city. Foreign direct investment would remain the main source of funding for the market. There is no threat of a bubble this year thanks to timely action by the Government. Furthermore, developers too have made efforts to tweak their investment so that they develop products that match the actual demand in the market. Buyers are becoming smarter and understand the market clearly.

In a report it released two days ago, global property consultant CBRE said, “In 2018 the mid-level segment will continue to account for the biggest proportion of the market, while the high-end and luxury segments will observe more considerate new supply, helping the market develop more sustainably.

The east and south will continue to be the hotspots of the market, with more new launches in districts 2, 7, 8, Binh Thanh such as One Verandah, GEM Riverside, Midtown, High Intela, Green Field. The average selling price in 2018 is expected to increase by 3 percent, with high-end and luxury segment showing an increase of 5 percent, and the mid-level and affordable segments increasing at a lower rate of 1.5 percent. The association said in 2017 the real estate market grew at over 4 percent. The medium and low-end segments saw high demand and accounted for 74 percent of the market, adding that FDI was at record levels.

In HCM City, real estate accounted for the second highest level of FDI last year. Domestic developers still dominate the market, it said, listing Vingroup, Hung Thinh, Phuc Khang, Khang Dien, Novaland, Thu Duc House, Son Kim, CityLand, and Him Lam as some of the major players. In its document, HoREA said there were five hurdles facing the city real estate market in 2017, and they affected transparency and growth. It listed them as land-use fees, land acquisition, project sale, credit policy and administrative procedures.

Source: Vietnamplus

February 1, 2018 / by / in
Vietnam’s hotel and resort market must make changes to develop

Vietnam’s hotel and resort real estate needs to have a comprehensive plan to ensure its development is on the right track. According to Mauro Gasparotti, director of Savills Hotels Asia Pacific, the hotel and resort property market of Vietnam was growing, driven by strong increase in the number of foreign tourist arrivals in recent years.

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Recent updates of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism showed that the country received 11 million foreign tourists so far this year, representing a rise of 27.8 percent over the same period last year. The increase was thanks to the launch of a number of international flight routes, together with easier visa policies. Hotel occupancy rates saw a significant increase in major tourism cities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang and Nha Trang, according to Savills Hotels.

However, a majority of the hotel rooms were located in coastal areas while condotel count outnumbered resort rooms, Gasparotti said, warning that this would lead to serious competition in hotel room prices. He said several developers did not pay adequate attention to the planning of their projects, adding that some focused simply on building their hotel projects with as many rooms as possible without giving thought to how to increase the added value of their projects. It was critical for the hotel and resort real estate segment of Vietnam to have a comprehensive plan to ensure long-term sustainable growth, he said.

Vo Kim Trang from Savills Hotels also said developers needed to have a long-term vision. “Developers will need to know tourism trends and changes in tourist demand, which will affect the development of hotel and resort products in the medium and long terms, rather than just focus on revenue in the short-term.” Savills Hotels also pointed out that Vietnam lacked diversification in products compared with destinations such as Thailand and Indonesia. The global market was currently witnessing new kinds of developments, such as resort wellness, resort spa, co-working hub and hi-tech hotel.

Morris Sim from Next Story Group, a hospitality management, marketing, design, franchising, investment and development company headquartered in Singapore, said developers in Vietnam should diversify their hotel and resort products to meet the increasingly diversified demand of tourists. Sim also said the sharing economy and social marketing were significantly affecting the hotel and resort property market with a new technology-savvy generation showing a new trend for working and traveling. Next Story Group said hotels and resorts must make changes to maintain and improve competitiveness.

Source: Vietnamplus

December 18, 2017 / by / in
The trend of mid-priced apartment in Ho Chi Minh City

Report of CBRE Vietnam

The mid-priced apartment segment in Ho Chi Minh City is developing strongly with demand and supply and liquidity all looking up, especially in the eastern part, experts said. A report from market researcher CBRE Vietnam said the segment, with prices ranging from $800 to $1,500/sqm, accounted for 60 percent of third quarter launches.

The HCM City Real Estate Association had predicted at the beginning of this year that the property market would see a strong restructure, with developers switching from luxury to mid-priced apartments. It had explained that the re-balancing would take place to resolve the mismatch between demand, which was overwhelmingly for cheaper units, and supply, which was skewed in favor of high-priced ones.

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Dau Tu newspaper (Vietnam Investment Review) quoted Vinh Kiem, an investor in HCM City, as saying that mid-range apartments built by prestigious developers bring solid returns to buyers. Since prices are not high, an investor can buy several at a time, according to Kiem. Last May, he bought two apartments in District 9 at around 1.7 billion VND each and now they have both appreciated by 300 million VND. But he is waiting for the prices to rise even further.

For people looking to buy houses to live in them too, mid-priced apartments are a good choice since many are in good locations and offer many amenities. To meet the growing demand in this segment, several major developers like Vingroup, Hung Thinh and Him Lam Land have launched many projects. But projects in the eastern part of the city, in places like districts 9 and 2, are customers’ favorites and are thought to bring profits of 20-50 percent to buyers.

Investors said apartments here are in high demand thanks to the excellent and constantly developing infrastructure, including the city’s first metro route. The news that authorities are planning to build the Rach Chiec Sports Centre in District 2 for SEA Games 31 has sparked off even more interest in the area. Investors now expect the market to remain strong for the next two years.

Source: Vietnamplus

November 2, 2017 / by / in
Limit 30% of foreign ownership about the realty projects in special economic zones

Foreign investors will be restricted to 30 percent ownership of real estate projects in Vietnam’s future special economic zones if a new draft law is approved, despite government promises of added incentives to attract overseas investment. The cap is the same as the one currently imposed across the country.

The Law on Special Economic and Administrative Units, which is being drafted at the moment, would grant foreign investors 99-year leaseholds on properties in new investment areas, almost twice the 50-year terms granted elsewhere in Vietnam.

But a major barrier remains as the law would only allow foreigners to buy up to 30 percent of an apartment building or resort project in these areas, said Tran Huy Dong, director of the Economic Zones Management Department at the Ministry of Planning and Investment. The limit is to guarantee security and prevent acquisitions by foreigners in special economic zones.

He said the heads of these zones will have to consult the Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of Public Security before granting any land to foreign investors. However, the policy will be open to changes depending on investors’ demands. Vietnam is preparing to develop special economic zones in the northern province of Quang Ninh, the central province of Khanh Hoa and the southern resort island of Phu Quoc.

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The government has cast them as major investment magnets along the lines of Singapore and Hong Kong. The investment ministry said that investors in these special zones will receive greater incentives and fewer restrictions than in Vietnam’s 18 existing “normal” economic zones, and they will be free from local regulations. Casinos have been approved in these zones, which will be the first in the country to be licensed to receive Vietnamese citizens.

Phung Quoc Hien, vice chairman of the legislative National Assembly, even suggested opening “red-light districts” in these zones at a meeting earlier this month. Life has such realistic demands. We’ve got to go with the flow and work out an appropriate management mechanism.

This draft law is expected to be presented to the National Assembly in May next year.

Source: VNexpress

September 27, 2017 / by / in
Ho Chi Minh City will not allow to build the small apartments

According to the latest news, Ho Chi Minh City has decided not to allow investors to build commercial apartments under 25 square meters (270 square feet) out of fear that fast urbanization and population growth may spiral out of control. In a letter sent to the Ministry of Construction, the city said small apartments are not part of its development plans. Small apartments would allow more people to buy property in the already overcrowded city, which would lead to population growth and more pressure on infrastructure, it said.

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To strengthen its argument, the city stated that it does not want to create “elevated slums”. In a letter issued in April to a domestic developer, the ministry said the firm would be allowed to build 25-square-meter apartments to attract low-income earners before new national standards for apartment sizes are set.

Vietnam’s 2015 construction law abolished a previous requirement that set the minimum area for an apartment at 45 square meters, but did not stipulate a new limit. In December 2015, a government decree on housing development for low-income earners came into force and set the minimum area at 25 square meters. Decrees often require guidance from related ministries before they are implemented.

Construction businesses and provincial authorities have been seeking permission to build commercial houses of 30-40 square meters to attract individuals, small families and low-income buyers, and they have been given the go-ahead due to the huge demand, the construction ministry said. Vietnam currently has 2.2 million people working in industrial parks, but only 20 percent of them have their own homes, according to the ministry.

HCMC’s decision appears to be its latest attempt to rescue itself from the infrastructure mess it has found itself in. The city has already instructed its construction department not to license any more high-rise condo buildings on roads that simply cannot handle them. This follows high-rise projects on Ung Van Khiem St and Nguyen Huu Canh St in Binh Thanh District and Ben Van Don St in District 4 that have put immense pressure on infrastructure, local media reported.

Tim Doling, a British author who has studied Vietnam’s history and tourism extensively, wrote on his Facebook page: “More warnings that continued construction of massive ugly high rises along the city’s main arteries will cause infrastructure to ‘break down’, with increased risk of flooding and further heavy traffic pressure.” Ung Van Khiem St is less than 2km long but is now home to around ten condo projects, while Nguyen Huu Canh St, one of the main roads connecting the eastern part of the city with the downtown, often suffers from flooding and heavy traffic jams.

Explaining the reason for these projects, the construction department said it had been given the nod to make adjustments to the city’s development plan by allowing investors to build more high-rise buildings in those areas. The Department of Transport said “due to the need to streamline administrative procedures, it hasn’t been invited to comment on residential apartment construction.” The city may be trying to make amends for the situation by putting high-rise condo buildings on hold and saying no to small apartments, but experts have described its solutions as “locking the stable door after the horse has already bolted.”

Source: VNexpress

September 18, 2017 / by / in
More 750 foreigners own the property in Vietnam

Even though Vietnam has relaxed the policies that allow foreigners to buy houses in the country, the numbers are not as high as expected. More than 750 foreigners have been granted house ownership certificates in Vietnam since the Law on Housing came into effect in 2014, reports the Ministry of Construction. The figure is six times higher than that of eight years since Vietnam implemented the Resolution No 19/2008/QH12, which piloted the scheme to allow foreign organizations and individuals to buy and own homes in the country.

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However, a representative from the Ministry of Construction’s Housing and Real Estate Market Management Department told the Vietnam News Agency that the number of foreigners buying houses in Vietnam was still low due to many other factors including their financial capacity, jobs, demand and the cost of real estate.

The regulations on housing and the policies on house ownership in Vietnam have been relaxed including the conditions of house ownership and the number of houses being owned by foreigners, which all suit the current situation, the representative said.

Mr Nguyen Khanh Duy, director of sales at Savills Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City, said legal procedures on real estate ownership of foreigners in Vietnam had basically received positive feedback from both buyers and sellers. The attraction of foreigners buying homes in the country in accordance with the law is expected to develop the country’s real estate market, especially in the segment of luxury housing which is abundant.

Source: Vietnamnews

September 7, 2017 / by / in