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Govt to control prices of low-cost apartments

Update: May, 10/2014 - 10:04

HA NOI (VNS)  — The Government will control ceiling prices for social and low-income housing projects to prevent investors from selling these apartments at high prices, said Trinh Dinh Dung, construction minister.

Dung spoke to reporters on Wednesday at a conference held in HCM City to review the draft law on real estate businesses, noting that current housing prices were high because investors had to pay to rent land.

Social housing projects have been given support in land-use rental, taxes and preferential credits. This is why such projects should have lower prices.

However, apartment prices of low-income housing projects have been higher than commercial projects despite a frozen property marke.

Two years ago, Sai Dong low-income housing project in Ha Noi's Long Bien District was sold at VND13 million a square metre , VND3 million per square metre higher than flats at Dai Thanh commercial project in south of Ha Noi

Several low-income projects offer prices VND3-6 million per square metre higher than commercial ones. Pham Sy Liem from the Viet Nam Construction Association, said the Government should remove low-income housing projects as the definition was unclear

Misuse of funds

The recent investigation by the Ministry of Construction revealed that several investors have misused 20 per cent of the land fund for social housing projects.

The investigation revealed that only three out of 11 projects had built social housing areas in the allotted land, three others had changed into rehabilitation apartments. The remaining projects were asked to change into commercial housing projects.

The ministry also reported that it has approved 13,000 social housing apartments. However, most of the projects had started construction.

The ministry reported that in Ha Noi alone, demand for social housing apartments was 80,000, of which those for officers in ministries and central units was around 30,000. — VNS

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