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VAMC needs more power, funding

Update: November, 04/2014 - 08:31
A view of high-rise buildings in Cau Giay District, Ha Noi. Resolving bad debt is critical to reviving the property market, as well as administrative reforms and legal amendments. — VNS Photo Thai Ha

HCM CITY (VNS) — The Viet Nam Asset Management Company (VAMC), set up to buy and sell bad debts from commercial banks, needs to be given greater autonomy as part of efforts to revive the property market, experts say.

Speaking at a recent conference organised by property investment magazine CafeLand in HCM City, they said the company also needs more cash to buy bad debts.

Other measures that they proposed to revive the property market included administrative reforms, Land Law amendments and permission for foreigners to invest in Viet Nam's housing sector.

Many banks are "half-dead" because they are unable to deal with bad debts piled up by real estate projects, the conference heard.

Speakers also highlighted other problems including excessive supply over demand and difficulties in bringing down housing prices further.

Ho Ba Tinh, an economic consultant with the Tai Viet Joint Stock Company, said the Vietnamese property market has gone through three somewhat similar development phases, hitting a peak and then weakening.

The market surged in the 1993-1994 but froze from 1995 to1999, soared again in 2001 and 2002 and faced a downturn from 2002 to 2006, hit a peak in 2007- 2008 and has slumped until recently, when some signs of a recovery can be seen, he said.

Duong Thuy Dung, deputy director and head of research and consulting services at CBRE Viet Nam, said investors are now more confident about releasing housing products into the market because consumption has reached 58 per cent.

In the past nine months, 8,400 apartments were put on sale in HCM City, more than in the previous two years. Fifty per cent of these have been sold.

More promotion programmes, wide application of deferred payments, a gradual increase in consumer confidence and key traffic infrastructure constructions have made the housing market more attractive, Dung said.

Tran Trong Tuan, director of the HCM City Construction Department, told the Vietnam News Agency that continued revival of the property market requires efforts from all sides including investors, customers and management agencies.

Immediate and long-term financial solutions and improvements in State mechanisms are also needed, he said.

He advised investors to grab market opportunities by planning appropriate strategies based on improved customer care.

Tuan also noted that just 3.36 per cent of 1,400 housing projects in the city have been completed, with 49 per cent are mired in various difficulties.

Since the beginning of this year, 5,700 apartments have been sold in the city, a year-on-year increase of 83 per cent. Most of these were apartments with areas smaller 70sq.m. — VNS

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