Private Property Popular in Vietnam
April 24, 2003
Land fever is gripping communist Vietnam, one of the strongest signs yet that capitalist-style policies introduced piecemeal during the past 15 years are here to stay. Eager for a piece of the action, they are pulling their savings out of mattresses and plowing them into the safest investment they know: private property.
In a two-year frenzy, Vietnamese in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have driven prices up to -- and, in some cases, beyond -- those paid in London, New York and Tokyo.
- A square meter of prime residential property is currently selling for as much as $8,700 in Ho Chi Minh City and almost $24,000 in Hanoi -- compared with $15,000 in London and nearly $11,000 in Tokyo.
- In Hanoi, a Vietnamese buyer recently plunked down the equivalent of $179,000 -- almost $24,000 per square meter -- for a 7.5-square-meter narrow shop front on Hang Dao street.
Few buyers seem deterred by the fact that Vietnam is run by a Communist Party with a history of hostility toward land ownership. Also, people pile into property largely because they lack investment alternatives, say economists.
Source: Barry Wain, "In Vietnam, a New Passion for Property," Wall Street Journal, April 23, 2003.
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