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|While another virus wave will be a blow, real estate has had time to come up with contingency plans, Photo: shutterstock|
According to many real estate experts, the coronavirus outbreak has cast drastic impacts across the economy, and the real estate market is not an exception. They added that the second wave of the pandemic after a temporary lull, was, to a degree, expected so it is not as much of a worry as the first wave was.
Thus, some predicted that implications on the real estate sector will be short-lived and have no bearing on long-term development prospects in the country.
Given the tremendous actual demand and strained supply sources, once the pandemic is contained, the market will once again be awash with prospective buyers.
Nguyen Huong, CEO of Dai Phuc Land, opined that the outbreak this time is not as critical as people are more psychologically prepared. In addition, people are more conscious of preventive measures after the first wave – and given the active pandemic control of the central and local governments in the previous months, many believe COVID-19 could be contained soon.
“At this point in time, our firm put top priority on the application of the best safety measures to ensure the health of our employees while maintaining progress at our projects and carefully preparing for effective deployment of post-pandemic development plans,” said Huong, adding that as the actual demand for housing is tremendous while supply remains limited, the current difficulties are fleeting at best and even offer opportunities to investors with long vision and good financial positions.
Sharing this mindset, Nguyen Quoc Bao, deputy general director of Danh Khoi Group, assumed that although 2020 is a tumultuous year for the real estate market, growth prospects are not all that gloomy on account of the huge actual demand. He was confident the market would rebound soon after the pandemic is reined in. He advised businesses to maintain operations and ensure resources are available to seize development opportunities after the pandemic subsides.
“Since the outset of 2020, despite numerous hardships in the market, Danh Khoi Group has bought projects with upbeat growth potential for investment at a later time,” Bao said.
Along with this, in the past few months, Danh Khoi bought up the entire stake of Sun Frontier Investment Co., Ltd. to become the developer of a Sun Frontier project and acquired Aria Danang Hotel & Resort with the scale of 7.5 hectares from Hanoi Non Nuoc Investment Tourist JSC.
It also bought three land plots in well-placed areas with more than 11,000 square metres of area belonging to Con Tan Lap residential quarter in Nha Trang city in the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa.
Bao added that as the projects the company bought are in good locations popular among customers, he is confident their products featuring solid investment plans would sell well despite unfavourable market conditions.
Business executives were not taken by surprise by the COVID-19 outbreak this time. Many of them have even prepared long-term development plans based on experiences from previous pandemic incidents.
Tran Le Thanh Hien, Danh Viet Group CEO, assumed that the current time is good for businesses to take a pause and reassess their operations, their possible shortcomings in the past, from there restructure operations.
For Danh Viet, immediate measures include conducting an integrated study to find sales models that suit the current circumstances. For instance, instead of traditional sales methods like face-to-face contacts with customers or holding meetings, the company has shifted to online sales to ensure safety for both customers and employees.
Ngo Duc Son, deputy general director of DRH Holdings, however, warned that more difficulties await, therefore, businesses should strive to hedge resources so that they can seize opportunities in the successive new normal.
The recent resurgence of COVID-19 in the central city of Danang that has spread to other areas in Vietnam – with cases detected already in Quang Nam, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Ha Nam, and other localities across the country – has been a cold shower for the local real estate market, which had just regained some growth after the previous wave.
While the market was not as bustling in the past few months, it posted a stable number of transactions, particularly in segments where the products met actual demand, such as land plots and low-end to medium-end residential units.
Tran Thi Thu Thuy - Deputy general director, Danko Group
Danko Group could be facing numerous difficulties in project deployment, customer acquisition, and market expansion in the time ahead as COVID-19 continues to cause issues. For instance, working with other business partners online would result in about 30 per cent reduction in efficiency as compared to direct meetings.
Our group, however, continues employing top-notch personnel with decent remuneration packages, simultaneously focusing on implementing some key projects while preparing for roll-outs of our best-quality products into the market.
Based on the experience from the previous time, Danko takes the initiative in tackling arising issues. All preventive measures are strictly adhered to. As such, staff returning from Danang must be isolated for a regulated 14 days, measuring body temperature twice a day, and more.
In the meantime, the group has scaled up efforts to maintain operation as usual, such as keeping construction progress. Besides this, we are working on human resources, making it suitable to current circumstances, along with the application of multi-grade management methods to boost work efficiency.
Ngo Quang Phuc - CEO, Phu Dong Group
As the pandemic impacts Vietnam, the real estate market will inevitably be affected in the form of sales plans being either postponed or cancelled. Moreover, the pandemic also leaves impacts on customers’ cash stream as their income will be badly influenced.
With the recent comeback of COVID-19, business internal activities may be disorderly, affecting the companies’ business orientation. Phu Dong’s plan in the forthcoming time is to do our best to become well-prepared for the worst case scenario.
Strategically, Phu Dong will strive selling products that the market needs to assure income sources, simultaneously working on personnel rearrangement to fit the new situation.
A pandemic is what nobody wants, so a sense of sharing is required from both business executives and labourers to overcome these difficult times.
Nguyen Van Hau - CEO, Asian Holding
The current common sentiment in the market and that of investors is anxiety, and that will surely affect the cash flow channelling into the real estate market. If the pandemic spreads to many localities nationwide, the market in the second half this year would be in the doldrums.
Amid current challenges, our company would hold up the launching of new products, yet focusing on network expansion and fostering training activities. Instead of retrenching, Asian Holding aims to open new branches. In addition, we are in quest for potential investment opportunities as this time proves ideal for mergers and acquisitions.
In difficult times, businesses need to use their stock to support the labourers. When the crisis is over and the market rebounds, this human resource will be poised to taking on new tasks for sustainable growth.
Nguyen Tu Quang - Deputy general director, Handico
First, Handico restarted its pandemic prevention plans like with the first wave of coronavirus in Vietnam, strictly obeying guidance from Hanoi People’s Committee and the Ministry of Health.
As for business operation, we face difficulties related to the market, also common to other businesses. Handico, therefore, will focus on activities helping to enhance exploitation efficiency on one hand, simultaneously availing of technological advantages in corporate governance. For finance, the company must exercise thrift policy in current time, focusing investment on key projects. As the situation is so complex, the market might incur more hardships in the time ahead.