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Buyers bemoan social housing deposits

Update: September, 21/2013 - 09:39
People with low-incomes are being supported to stay in social houses in the northern province of Lao Cai. — VNA/VNS Photo Tuan Anh

HA NOI (VNS) — The Ministry of Construction plans to allow investors of social housing projects to collect deposits from homebuyers, according to Deputy Minister Nguyen Tran Nam.

Recently, the investor of the social housing project at 143 Tran Phu Street, Ha Dong District collected a deposit of VND70 million (US$3,330) from each buyer as a guarantee. The money will become their first payment after signing the purchase contract; if they decide not to buy the apartment, they lose the deposit.


Over 300 individuals receive gov't housing loans

As of the end of August, commercial banks committed to provide 331 individuals with VND105.32 billion (US$5 million) in loans from the Government's VND30 trillion ($1.42 billion) support package for the property market, according to the State Bank of Viet Nam.

Vietcombank led the five banks involved in loan disbursement with a commitment to provide VND44.89 billion in loans for 135 individual borrowers, followed by Vietinbank with VND29.47 billion for 92 borrowers and BIDV with VND16.3 billion for 40 borrowers. — VNS

Many registered to buy apartments in social housing projects but ultimately decided not to buy them, said Hoang Van Anh, chairman of Song Da Urban Development and Construction Company. This made investment in such projects risky. The move aimed to lessen the risk for investors by ensuring that buyers actually intend to follow through with the purchase, he said.

According to Vu Van Phan from the ministry's Housing Department, there are regulations on deposits for commercial house purchases but none for social housing.

But many buyers object to the new practice, saying that investors of social housing projects already receive incentives from the Government.

Many social housing projects had not yet been started, so buyers sometimes waited for years to move into their apartments, said one buyer of an apartment in a social housing project in Hoang Mai District.

Pham Sy Liem, deputy president of the Viet Nam Federation of Civil Engineering Associations, said that if investors of social housing projects were allowed to collect deposits from buyers, the contract must specify that failure to hand apartments over to buyers within the deadline would necessitate financial compensation.

Liem urged the construction ministry to collect feedback from homebuyers as well as investors to ensure that the rights of both parties were protected. — VNS

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