Buying Real Property: Land Prices Only Go Up?

Hello, I'm looking for advice regarding land prices in Viet Nam.

I've been in Vietnam six years and recently married a VN woman.  Our plan was to buy land somewhere out in Go Vap near my wife's family.  She would run a nail salon, we could live upstairs, start a family, and I could continue to teach.  This would be our home.

Currently we rent two places separately, a house and her storefront, for about $1000 USD  a month.  She pays for her salon, I pay for our house.  The expenses from rent are digging us a hole instead of moving us forward.  I'd like to buy for many other reasons as well.

When we made our plans, the prices in or around Go Vap were still within reach for us.  Since that time, land prices have increased out of our range.  We have about 100k USD to spend on this, maybe less.  Nearby district 12 also seems too high already for a place we could actually run the salon now.

A sample of housing prices in Go Vap: https://muaban.net/mua-ban-nha-dat-cho- … p-l5920-c3

Throwing some numbers on it, what we would need seems to be running 150k-250k USD in Go Vap.  Probably over 100k USD in District 12 as well.

My wife asked a real estate agent near her current shop location in Go Vap the prices in that are for that sort of property, she was told 3.5-5 billion, so upwards of 200k USD.

I recently spoke with my VN landlord, who has also been a real estate speculator for a bit over a decade here.  He mentioned a few things:  1) when the land prices go down, they only go down a tiny bit, maybe 5%, or they stay flat 2) Unlike land, the condos and apartments can crash out big at 50% losses when the market goes down 3) People generally won't agree to sell land via financing from a bank unless it's a relative doing you a favor. 

We can't live out in the sticks on a farm, we both need to work.

What he said seems to mesh with info I've found online or heard from others.

A few questions:

1)  Are these rising prices on land values stable?  Is there a realistic chance they may drop into my price range?  I have a feeling I'm a few years too late.

2)  If there is a housing bubble that pops, will it only affect condos and apartments, or would land value drop significantly as well?  I'm very interested in this distinction.  I don't think I'll buy an apartment unless there's a massive market crash and they are as dirt cheap as they'll ever get.

3) Are prices lower in other cities?  Looking at the Mua Ban site, it seems like land is expensive all over Vietnam.  We would need a storefront, some traffic, and schools/students within reach for me to teach.  I don't think my wife would be happy about going away from her family, this would be out of desperation.  Even way out in little places like Dong Nai the prices seem out of range. 

If anyone here has insight or experience in real estate prices and developing economies I'd be grateful to hear from you.  Thank you.

Your rent sounds very expensive at 23 million a month, maybe look at downsizing the places you rent.

You can find a place for that price in the smaller cities.I have seen many around the 2.3 ty price. The problem is that your wife wont move from her family, and secondly you wont get anything on a busy street to attract customers.You have two options, move to a smaller city or put the 100k in the bank to help cover your rental costs.

Thanks Colinoscapee.  Just to be clear, that price won't get anything with a busy street in the smaller cities either?

mtgmike :

Thanks Colinoscapee.  Just to be clear, that price won't get anything with a busy street in the smaller cities either?

Anything on a busy street will be expensive, the difference between a main road and a hem one street back can be huge.

How far is not far from the family?

In Binh Chanh - KDC 13E Intresco, you can buy land for 25 million per square meter.

Or in Ben Luc (Long An) for 12 million per square meter.

Both are developed areas, divided into 100-200m2 plots with roads, water and electricity on the plot.

In a few years everything will be built up there and you will have customers for your business as neighbours.

Wife says Ben Luc is outside HCMC towards Dong Nai and too far.  Looked bit at Binh Chanh.  I think there is some stuff out there that may work.  Thanks for the tip.  Do you suppose we have time or do you suppose prices in Binh Chanh will go crazy upwards before the end of next year as well?

mtgmike :

Wife says Ben Luc is outside HCMC towards Dong Nai and too far.  Looked bit at Binh Chanh.  I think there is some stuff out there that may work.  Thanks for the tip.  Do you suppose we have time or do you suppose prices in Binh Chanh will go crazy upwards before the end of next year as well?

I fear that prices will continue to rise.

We found this area when we were looking for a rental apartment between Long An and HCMC Centre.
Really a (still) very quiet and green area.
There were many plots with only one foundation for a house.  But then no more further built.  All overgrown with plants.
But in the last months many new houses are built.
A new big project is also being built.
So I think the prices will continue to rise fast.

I would come and have a look.
There is a restaurant (only open in the mornings) where a lot of land offers hang on the wall.
You have to take the street Duong So 7 coming from the street Nguyen Van Linh and turn left after Terra Rosa.  Then you will see the restaurant on your right.
I would ask in the restaurant and never go through an agent from the internet.

There is also a project called Lovera Park in Binh Chanh. About one years ago there were houses for 2.5 to 3.5 billion (land 100 or 120 square meters). You need further > 500 million for the completion of interior.
When the project is finished, there are several 100 houses.  Enough customers for your business.
The project developer has offices there (ask where the building is).  Go there directly and not through an agent.

Generally you have to invest a lot of time and visit the properties together with your wife.
Usually it is not as described or the price is much higher.

"Generally you have to invest a lot of time and visit the properties together with your wife.
Usually it is not as described or the price is much higher."

That's unfortunate.  I'm seeing a lot of stuff on muaban for 1.2-1.7 billion that appear to work for us.  They tend to lie and the prices may be over 2 billion? 

I think maybe one reason the things I'm looking at may be cheaper is we are looking tall, not wide?  So maybe having a smaller land footprint but being built higher tends to be less expensive.

The places I saw that looked suitable are already built and appear to be sold by individuals, not pre-planned developments. 

We've also considered buying land and having something built.  I've read bad things about that here but heard good things from her family.

mtgmike :

"We've also considered buying land and having something built.  I've read bad things about that here but heard good things from her family."

..but beware of the ulterior motive: the genetic investment...   

    (Your) money is also a  'good thing' for such vested interests...      :idontagree:
.

mtgmike :

"

We've also considered buying land and having something built.  I've read bad things about that here but heard good things from her family.

I have vowed to be less snarky on this forum, so I can't say what I first thought.

You are married to your wife and sound very happy. You are all-in with her and her family.
Your plans sound well thought out.
The advice you have gotten from the Vietnamese, also sounds pretty good.
Land is Land, you should read Pearl S. Buck's "The Good Earth", it will help your understanding of many things.

My experience on forums like this is you can get some great advice.
But there are also those who are jealous of your success, your happiness, your family, etc
So sometimes it's hard to separate the good from the bad.

Trust your wife and her instincts.

For what it's worth, my GF had me drive her around the Binh Chanh area a couple of times for the same reasons, affordable land. Land is relatively stable and simple. Buying a Condo in a large development is exactly the opposite, complicated and while some may make lots of money, some may lose lots.

Good luck.

Wxx3 :
mtgmike :

"

We've also considered buying land and having something built.  I've read bad things about that here but heard good things from her family.

I have vowed to be less snarky on this forum, so I can't say what I first thought.

You are married to your wife and sound very happy. You are all-in with her and her family.
Your plans sound well thought out.
The advice you have gotten from the Vietnamese, also sounds pretty good.
Land is Land, you should read Pearl S. Buck's "The Good Earth", it will help your understanding of many things.

My experience on forums like this is you can get some great advice.
But there are also those who are jealous of your success, your happiness, your family, etc
So sometimes it's hard to separate the good from the bad.

Trust your wife and her instincts.

For what it's worth, my GF had me drive her around the Binh Chanh area a couple of times for the same reasons, affordable land. Land is relatively stable and simple. Buying a Condo in a large development is exactly the opposite, complicated and while some may make lots of money, some may lose lots.

Good luck.

Thanks man, I appreciate it.  I've known my wife and her family for years, they are good people.  I understand where people are coming from with the warnings.   I'm leaning towards land for sure, most likely it will have a house already built too.

I wish you the best of luck in your search for land, I would not be too worried about value of land crashing either. Even if it did, if you're not in a rush to sell or not speculating, over 20-30 years I doubt anything can go wrong. A friend of mine bought land in Rach Gia (west of the Mekong area) 6-7 years ago from distant family, and had a house built on the land since then. Now his wife (my friend is mostly in Canada) lives there and have 2-3 tenants, although I don't understand why she bothers for a meagre USD$50 a month in rent each. The land gained in value since then, but it doesn't really matter.

Suggestions only below"

Best way to locate your ideal land would be to get your wife to walk and talk to everyone in the desired area of choice.  We have purchased several blocks of land in HCMC and Phu Quoc this way, avoiding agents as much as possible.

When you find your " ideal land", make sure it is owned by the person claiming it is theirs.
Check with the local authorities as to the authenticity of the ownership documents ( red and pink ownership books are easily copied).

Check with local government as to any intended future plans for the road and land in the area.  Land acquisition by the government for road widening and other use is wide spread and common.  If they want to acquire your land they will pay you for it, but sometimes you will only get 10 -20% of the true value.

I note you questions in the other forum.  Use and international currency exchange provider and deposit into a VND account from your USD account. 
Make sure you have a paper trail of all transactions.

Get a reputable law firm to ensure all paperwork is  filed correctly.

Just be mindful that once you $$ are in VN, it is considered VN $$ and its not easy to take back out of the country.  There are ways and means of doing so but it requires a degree of tactfulness to say but the least.

Good luck with the project and great to hear you have a supportive wife and family.

Prices for land in district 2 in 2006 were about 10-15mil a m2 , now they are more than 10 times that.
There has been 3 property crashes since then, but generally residential land in the established areas has performed extremely strongly vs other investment options.
There was a big price spurt earlier this year that resulted in prices doubling in the outlying districts  (binh chanh, hoc mon, gan gio etc..) but now things have calmed down  and prices havn't moved for the last 4 months. But i think with TET next year , Land prices will move back up.
As always, location location location....so buy the best situated property that you can afford that suits your needs.
Going from what you have written, I would try to find existing built shop house with all the correct paper work then building from scratch.  Less head aches.

Binh Chanh offers good value if your wife wants to start from scratch again, or i would find something close to her existing salon , so the existing clients don't have to travel too far and you can still keep them.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I am under the impression that you cannot buy a re-sale house as a foreigner?

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