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Red Hot Real Estate Market in Vietnam
August 2, 2007

While the US is experiencing a housing slump and is getting worse by day, real estate market in Vietnam is red hot, especially after Vietnam's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO). Combining a policy of economic liberalization and a stock market boom, in a decade, the country has tripled its income per capita to more than $US 700. Foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2007 could exceed $US 12 billions, about double that of 2005. With the growing number of FDI, the demands for office and retail spaces have surpassed the current supplies.

Due to a shortage in available space, office rental rates are continuing to rise. Rental rates are so high, about $US 35-40 per square meter per month, in high-end office buildings in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). The influx of foreigners working in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have push demand so strong that office rental will inevitably become a hurdle for many small and medium foreign businesses that want a present in Vietnam.

Although the Vietnam stock market is a bit cooling in the past few months, the VN index was excessively hot in 2006 with an astonishing increase of 146%. As a result, the money made from the fast growth in the stock market in the last few years have been re-invested in more stable real estate market.

In Ho Chi Minh City, with population of over 8 millions, there is a growing number of upper middle class. The increase of high-income households leads to more demand on higher living accommodations and entertainments and home prices are increasingly expensive. High-end real estate market is super-charging as the domestic demand for high-rise apartments and villas continues to grow. The prices of high-end condos/apartments have increased more than 50% in six months from October 2006 to March 2007, especially in District 1, 2, and 3 of Ho Chi Minh City.

With growing population (85 millions, est. 2006) of which more than half are under 30, most low-income earners from this pool of young workers do not have enough money to buy a house or apartment. They are squeezed further due to the shortage of low-income housing and increasing demand for more rental units.

The boom in real estate market is fired up by the explosion in tourism has changed the face of country in many ways. Vietnam had more than 3.5 millions international visitors in 2006, an increase of 3% over 2005. Vietnam is also considered one of exotic travel destinations. And with the arrival of budget airlines (AsiaAir, Jetstar and Tiger Airlines), tourism market is refreshingly brisk. As the result, in major urban centers such as capital Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Vung Tau, Nha Trang and Da Nang, hundred of millions of US dollars are pouring to build office buildings, five-star resorts, entertainment and shopping centers to accommodate a fast growing number of international and domestic tourists.

Despite the lack of transparency and over regulation, the Vietnam real estate market is one of the fastest growing markets in the region and is expected to continue to sizzle into next year.

Source: VietnamAccess.com

More about Vietnam.

September 21, 2017 / 09:30 PM CST 

Home Prices Fell in 23 of 25 U.S. Metro Areas in May
By By Dan Levy, Bloomberg
August 1, 2008

Aug. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Home prices fell in 23 of 25 U.S. metropolitan areas in May from a year earlier as foreclosure sales pushed down values and most areas remained mired in the housing recession. Sacramento had the biggest price drop, falling 31 percent from May 2007. Prices declined 29.5 percent in Las Vegas, 27.2 percent in San Diego, 26.9 percent in St. Louis and 25.8 percent in Phoenix, said real estate data company Radar Logic Inc. Sales rose in 22 areas in May from April, driven by ``motivated'' sellers including banks that foreclosed on or took possession of homes whose owners defaulted, the company said. ``Price declines are occurring in areas where subprime lending was heavily concentrated, and a large percentage of sales are foreclosure sales,'' Susan Wachter, professor of real estate finance at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, said in an interview. Prices for ``those sales are always significantly lower than transactions that are not forced,'' she said. Complete article.

Sales of Existing Single-Family Homes Drop in 2007 by Largest Amount in 25 Years
By Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer
January 24, 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sales of existing homes fell in December, closing out a horrible year for housing in which sales of single-family homes plunged by the largest amount in 25 years. The median home price dropped for the entire year, the first time that has occurred in four decades. The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of single-family homes and condominiums dropped by 2.2 percent in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million units. For the year, sales of single-family homes were down by 13 percent, the biggest drop since a 17.7 percent plunge in 1982. The median price for a single-family home dropped 1.8 percent to $217,000. That was the first annual price decline on records going back to 1968. Lawrence Yun, the Realtors' chief economist, said it was likely that the country has not experienced a decline in housing prices for an entire year since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Complete article.

Calif. Foreclosures Hit 20-Year High in 4Q
More Homeowners Fell Behind on Their Mortgage Payments
By ABC News Internet Ventures
January 22, 2008

Foreclosures reached a 20-year high in California during the fourth quarter of 2007 as a growing number of homeowners fell behind on their mortgage payments, a real estate research firm said Tuesday. A total of 31,676 homes ended up in foreclosure during the quarter ended Dec. 31, marking the highest figure since DataQuick Information Systems began keeping such numbers in 1988. The total represents a 30.8 percent increase from the previous quarter and a 421.2 percent jump from 6,078 foreclosures in the same quarter of 2006, DataQuick said. In addition, 81,550 default notices were sent to homeowners statewide between October and December, up 12.4 percent from the previous quarter and more than 114 percent in the year-ago quarter, according to DataQuick. Complete article.

Foreclosure filings nearly double
By Alex Veiga, AP Business Writer
October 11, 2007

Foreclosure filings across the U.S. nearly doubled last month compared with September 2006, as financially strapped homeowners already behind on mortgage payments defaulted on their loans or came closer to losing their homes to foreclosure, a real estate information company said Thursday. A total of 223,538 foreclosure filings were reported in September, up from 112,210 in the same month a year ago, according to Irvine-based RealtyTrac Inc. The number of filings in September was down 8 percent from August's 243,947, the firm said. Despite the sequential decline, the September figure represents the second-highest total for filings in a single month since the company began tracking monthly filings two years ago. "August was an extraordinarily high month for foreclosure activity, so some falloff was almost predictable," said Rick Sharga, RealtyTrac's vice president for marketing. The filings include default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions. Some properties might have received more than one notice if the owners have multiple mortgages. Typically, borrowers must be 60 to 90 days past due on their mortgage payments before their lender will consider them in default, the first stage of the foreclosure process. If a homeowner can't find a way to get current on payments, the home is then often put up for auction, and if it doesn't sell, it eventually goes back to the bank. Complete article.

Home Construction Down in July
By Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer
August 16, 2007

Home Construction Falls in July to the Slowest Pace in More Than a Decade WASHINGTON (AP) -- Construction of new homes fell to the lowest level in more than a decade in July as builders continued to struggle with the steepest housing slump since 1991. The Commerce Department reported Thursday that construction of new homes and apartments dropped 6.1 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.38 million units. That was down 20.9 percent from the pace of activity a year ago and represented the slowest pace since January 1997. The housing industry, which had enjoyed a prolonged boom until 2006, has been struggling this year with a deepening slump as builders are slashing prices and throwing in various incentives in an effort to unload record levels of unsold homes. The problems have been worsened by rising home foreclosures, especially in the subprime market, a development which is dumping even more homes onto the glutted market. Complete article.

Existing-home sales fall in 41 states
By The Associated Press
August 15, 2007

WASHINGTON - Sales of existing homes fell in 41 states during the April-June quarter while home prices were down in one-third of the metropolitan areas surveyed, a real estate trade group reported Wednesday. The new figures from the National Association of Realtors underscored the severity of the current housing slump, the worst downturn in 16 years. However, Realtors officials said they saw some glimmers of hope in the data. They noted that existing home prices were up in 97 of the 149 metropolitan areas surveyed compared with the sales prices of a year ago. That represented price gains for 65 percent of the areas surveyed, an improvement from the first quarter of this year when only about 55 percent of the metropolitan areas reported price gains from the same period a year ago. In the fourth quarter of last year, fewer than half of the metropolitan areas reported price gains. "Although home prices are relatively flat, more metro areas are showing price gains with general improvement since bottoming-out in the fourth quarter of 2006," said Lawrence Yun, senior economist for the Realtors. Complete article.

Newsweek: What's the Biggest Threat to the U.S. Economy?
By Robert J. Samuelson
July 2-9, 2007 issue

...At about $21 trillion, real-estate wealth has nearly doubled, but home prices are now flattening or dropping. Lax credit standards ("subprime" mortgages) and low interest rates also contributed to consumers' recent borrowing surge. Both are now ending. Complete article.

AP: Home Sales Hit Slowest Pace in 4 Years
Sales of Existing Homes Fall in May to Lowest Level in Four Years
By Martin Crutsinger
June 25, 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Reflecting further housing troubles, sales of existing homes fell in May to the lowest level in four years while the median home price dropped for a record 10th consecutive month. The National Association of Realtors reported Monday that sales of existing single-family homes and condominiums dropped by 0.3 percent to 5.99 million units in May, the slowest sales pace since June of 2003. The median price of a home sold last month dropped to $223,700, down 2.1 percent from a year ago. It marked the 10th straight price decline compared with a year ago, the longest stretch of weakness on record. The sales decline reflected weakness in the South, where sales dropped by 3.4 percent, and the West, where sales were down by 0.8 percent. Sales actually showed strength in the Northeast, rising by 5.8 percent, and the Midwest, where they were up 0.7 percent. In a troubling sign for the future, the inventory of unsold homes rose by 5 percent to 4.43 million units in May, a level that would take 8.9 months to clear out at the May sales pace. That is the highest inventory level since the last deep slump in housing in 1992. Complete article.

ABC News: Foreclosures Reach Record Levels Across Country
By Daniel Arnall
June 12, 2007

In another sign that the housing market is taking a major tumble, Americans across the country are getting foreclosure notices at a record pace. New data released this afternoon indicates that one in every 656 homes in the United States went into foreclosure during May. Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac says more than 176,000 people got foreclosure notices last month. That is the highest figure they have ever recorded in their monthly report and is 90 percent higher than the numbers from a year ago. "Such strong activity in the midst of the typical spring buying season could foreshadow even higher foreclosure levels later in the year," said James Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac, in a release accompanying the data. Complete article.

CBS5: Internet Spawns Boom In Homes For Sale By Owner
By Sue Kwon
June 8, 2007

(CBS 5) SAN FRANCISCO One look on Craigslist, and you can see dozens of Bay Area homes for sale by owners. The practice used to carry stigma, but these days, with the market slowing down, sellers don't want to see any of their home's value lost in fees. John Stromwall has lived in his San Francisco Potrero Hill home for about 20 years. He thinks it can sell for $930,000 or more without the help of a realtor. Stromwall said realtors had recommended he lower the price to create competition. "Starting to price the home with $100,000 less than what other homes have gone for doesn't make any sense," he said. And neither does paying 6 percent of the sale price -- in this case $55,000 -- in fees, he said. Others are also going it alone. Ten percent of homes on the market nationwide are for sale by owner. Complete article.

NY Times: One City's Home Sellers Do Better on Their Own
By Jeff Bailey
June 8, 2007

It sounds like the setup for a dull economist's joke. Who gets the better deal: the cautious economist who sells his house through a real estate agent, or his risk-taking colleague who finds a buyer on his own? But the question - debated by two Northwestern University economists who chose different methods to sell their homes - and the research it helped prompt are serious. And the answer will be of interest to anyone who has paused to consider whether paying a real estate agent's commission, typically 5 to 6 percent of the sale price, is worth it. The conclusion, in a study to be released today based on home-sales data from 1998 to 2004 in Madison, Wis., is that people in that city who sold their homes through real estate agents typically did not get a higher sale price than people who sold their homes themselves. When the agent's commission is factored in, the for-sale-by-owner people came out ahead financially. Complete article.