|Shoppers look at the selection at a building material store. Figures have shown consumption of building materials in HCM City is declining. — VNA/VNS Photo Duy Khuong
HCM CITY (VNS) — Consumption of building materials in HCM City is falling fast.
Figures show consumption has dropped by as much as 50 per cent year-on-year despite being at the height of the annual building season, according to local traders.
Traders selling building materials in District 2, Thu Duc and Binh Thanh say that the annual building season in HCM City normally starts after Tet however, there has been no sign of it this year.
They say that most of their customers are only buying materials to finish private projects they started last year.
Huynh Tan Hien, owner of a shop in Thu Duc District, said that the volume of customers coming to his shop this year was half of last year and most of them were small retailers rather that big construction companies.
Hoang Thi Hang who sells enamelled tiles in the same district, is in the same situation. She said that since the beginning of this year, her shop has received all the latest new models and styles from her suppliers, but customers just weren't interested.
A steel trader said in the first two weeks of this month he sold only a couple of tonnes of steel, which was a massive drop from last year despite that prices remained unchanged.
Retailers said that cement prices normally increased by nearly 10 per cent, but not this year. Prices of most building materials like tiles and bricks have stayed the same.
Explaining the situation, Nguyen Tien Nghi, former deputy chairman of the Viet Nam Steel Association said that it would take some time for the real estate market to show signs of recovery but the slump would be forgotten by the second quarter of this year . — VNS