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Need to foster low-cost housing

Update: March, 26/2012 - 10:41

 

Son Ky Apartment Building in HCM City's Tan Phu District. The city is seeking ways to encourage builders to target the low-income market. — VNA/VNS Manh Linh
HCM CITY — The lack of a meeting point between developers and buyers with real housing needs is one of the major problems facing the local real estate market, experts said at a meeting held last week.

The meeting was organised by the HCM City People's Committee to find solutions to the city's current housing problems and stagnation of the local real estate market.

Nguyen Van Danh, director of the Department of Construction, told the meeting that although the local real estate market was facing many difficulties, low-cost apartments were still attractive to customers, and those with areas averaging 60 and 80 square metres were most favoured.

This could be seen in the fact that 60 per cent of successful transactions in the market were related to cheap housing, Danh said.

However, while demand for cheap housing was very high, supply is very limited, he said.

By December 2011, a total of 163 housing projects in the city were completed and put into use, supplying 41,378 apartments. In 2011 alone, the city had 19 housing projects completed, providing 7,014 apartments for the market.

However, only 33 per cent of these apartments had prices suitable for low-income people, Danh said.

Nguyen Huu Tin, vice chairman of the municipal People's Committee, also said that the city's housing demand was very high.

The city's social housing programme alone needs about 20,000 apartments and another 32,000 are required to relocate households living along local canals.

The lack of a "meeting point" between sellers and buyers was a problem in the local real estate market, Tin said.

To help the market run smoothly, the Government should have mechanisms and policies to support housing developers so that they can lower prices of apartments to match the financial capacity of most people with real housing needs, he said. Tin asked relevant agencies to look for ways to settle problems related to capital resources and housing prices so that the city can purchase commercial residential housing properties available in the market.

If the city could do this, it would not only help improve the market's liquidity but also meet people's housing demand, he said.

People's Committee Chairman Le Hoang Quan said his administration has come up with important policy measures to help remove some of the obstacles facing the local real estate market.

Under current regulations, real estate enterprises are required to set aside 20 per cent of the land area in their commercial residential housing projects for construction of social housing if their project land exceeds 10 ha.

The city will annul this regulation and replace it with a new one that will allow enterprises to pay money for the land, or use land in other places for constructing social housing, Quan said.

He asked the Department of Construction to continue improving administrative procedures to ensure that enterprises constructing houses for low-income people can receive required licences within three months. — VNS

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