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Exchanges close in frozen real estate market

Update: September, 22/2012 - 09:29
HCM CITY (VNS)— Many real estate transaction floors in HCM City have downed shutters recently as the property market remains frozen, industry insiders say.

A report from the city's Department of Construction says that as the end of last year, about 356 real estate trading floors had been established, accounting for 62 per cent of the nation-wide total.

While exact official figures are not available, it is estimated that around 100 exchanges have disappeared from the market.

Several years ago, when the real estate market was riding high, exchanges had mushroomed on Tran Nao Street in District 2. A large volume of the city's real estate trading floors was established here and transactions abounded, making it a guild street for the property market.

Now, the street is very quiet. Fashion and construction material shops have replaced transaction floors.

The director of a real estate exchange told the Tin Tuc (News) newspaper that an exchange needed at 20 transactions per month to maintain it operations. At present however, having 5-10 transaction in one month "is a dream," he said.

Some brokers admitted that they had were trying to push their business through phones and the Internet.

He knew that it would disturb customers, but it was the only way to maintain his job and earn money, said broker Nguyen Ngoc Toan.

Toan said it was very difficult now to find a customer. "There are months that I am only able to find one customer," he said.

Other brokers noted that big trading floors were operating despite the paucity of transactions. They explained that such floors belonged to real estate companies still doing well, and being able to offer other services. They did not specify what the other services were.

Only "very strong" exchanges with "high prestige and good business" can exist right now, said the director of a trading floor in District 1, who did not want to be named.

Real estate exchanges were established in 2009 under Government regulations. However, they have not proved effective to date because they have developed in quantity, not quality.

Most investors had established exchanges just to sell their own projects, so they were unable meet high standards. — VNS

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