|New values in demand for living space|
There are big changes in homebuyers’ demands nowadays. If location and pricing were the top factors in the past, now comfort also plays a decisive role. This has required developers to scale up investment into ensuring living space and the comfort of their projects.
Late last year, a string of projects introduced by some major developers in Ho Chi Minh City, albeit carrying high price tags, could still garner a great deal of attention from homebuyers.
Saigon Mystery Villas on Bat Nan Road (District 2) by Hung Thinh Corporation consists of 12 attached house blocs and two villa complexes covering nearly 15 hectares. Despite its fairly high price averaging VND100 million ($4,500) per square metre, more than 70 per cent of the products put on offer have found owners in a short time.
Huy, a homebuyer at the project, said that the project perfectly fit his requirements despite the high price tag. Besides its proximity to the future upscale Diamond Island and two sides overlooking a river, another important factor is that the developer has committed to building a chain of modern facilities for the project, such as a 2-ha park within the premises, a hotel, a trade and services area, a BBQ garden, a gym-spa zone, as well as a children’s playground.
Next to Saigon Mystery Villas is Victoria Village by Novaland Group which had become the market focus late last year. Victoria Village consists of four 25-storey towers and one basement, with more than 900 apartment units. In addition, the project includes 92 terraced houses and villas in a neo-classical Victorian architectural style, which were reported to fetch more than VND100 million ($4,500) per sq.m. The products, however, still mesmerised homebuyers.
Like Saigon Mystery Villas, Victoria Village features compelling facilities, including a 5,000sq.m park zone, an infinity swimming pool, children’s entertainment area, a gym, and more.
In fact, projects featuring modern living space and good facilities have reported steady price increases. For instance, Him Lam Phu Dong on Pham Van Dong Road (Thu Duc District) by Him Lam Land Corporation features a full range of modern amenities such as a park, swimming pool, CCTV security system, and wide WiFi coverage. Nearly two years after the project was first introduced, the land price at the project was 80-100 per cent higher compared to the initial price. The price of apartments rose by 20-30 per cent, but there were few re-sellers. In nearby locations, the prices at several other projects have inched up slightly.
Apart from Him Lam Phu Dong, the price at other projects by Him Lam Land, such as Him Lam Riverside (District 7) and Him Lam Cho Lon (District 6) have also managed fair growth as the developer has invested in diverse and modern facilities to benefit future residents.
To satisfy increasingly discerning customers, developers have also changed their business trajectory. Most developers now do not sit and wait for opportunities to come. Instead, they pursue long-term and professional strategies, preparing for a bigger game in the future.
According to Luong Tri Thin, chairman of Dat Xanh Real Estate Service & Construction Corporation, the real estate market has notified marked changes in customers’ buying behaviour. Besides pricing factor, homebuyers increasingly care about the service quality and how the residential community is taken care of.
“We all know the customers are the top factor in doing business. Without customers, you could not sell products or provide services. Without revenue, you could not cover expenses and would eventually go bankrupt,” Thin said, adding that the homebuyers are now ‘king,’ and satisfying their requirements are now the top concern.
To meet their demands, Dat Xanh always focuses on three factors: product quality, consulting services, and after-sale service quality. Firms must pay due attention to ensuring customer service quality, Thin noted.
Not only Dat Xanh, most major developers have made creating living values for the projects their long-term sustainable development strategy. Phuc Khang Construction and Investment Corporation, a new rising star in the city’s real estate market, is trailblazing green building standards in its housing developments.
To realise the go-green strategy, in late 2017 Phuc Khang teamed up with Japan’s Mitsubishi to establish Phuc Khang Mitsubishi Corporation Holding (PKMC) for joint development of a US-standard green building lineup.
“Developers need to pay 10 per cent more to realise the strategy, but in return, the residents will enjoy green factors right in their homes. As environmental pollution has become a growing threat, green projects will become the top choice for homebuyers who care for living quality,” said Luu Thi Thanh Mau, CEO of Phuc Khang.
Mau said that in the coming time PKMC will focus on studying and developing Phuc Khang’s existing land funds valued at more than $500 million with the total scale of 20ha (high-rise buildings, mixed-use developments) districts 1, 2, 8, 10, Tan Binh, and Tan Phu, and 1,000ha in neighbouring provinces in a 20-30 kilometre radius.
Le Hoang Chau, chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Real Estate Association, said that though the real estate market has experienced positive changes in the past years, the playground, however, is only open for professional developers having the capacity to avail themselves of the opportunities and build up prestige based on product quality.
Chau predicted a sharp rise in new supply in the upcoming time, particularly in 2018, and in the high-end segment. Developers, therefore, must be well prepared and apply suitable strategies to step up to the competition.