Though advocating the State policy of converting commercial housing projects to low-cost ones and buying unsold apartments for the resettlement purpose, real estate companies wonder how this policy is carried out.
Change of purpose possible?
Le Huu Nghia, director of Le Thanh Commercial Construction Co., said it is not easy to turn a commercial apartment project into a low-cost one. In this process, the apartment sizes must be reduced to meet the demand of buyers, and thus the number of residents in a project will increase.
Meanwhile, Nguyen Xuan Quang, chairman of Nam Long Investment Corp., said a commercial project is much different from a low-cost one. Therefore, not all projects can be converted into low-cost ones.
He predicted when those wanting to buy low-cost apartments can access low-interest loans, the market will start moving. Then, enterprises will be willing to switch to the low-cost segment.
Tran Minh Hoang, chairman of VinaLand, remarked that as many developers are seeking to pull out of the market, many commercial condo projects currently have lower prices than low-cost and resettlement housing projects. Therefore, it does not matter if a project is of the low-cost housing segment, but finance is the major problem.
“The State can offer homebuyers soft loans, rather than classifying projects as low-cost or not, because the conversion procedure is very complicated,” said Hoang.
He said rescuing the property market by promoting the low-cost housing segment would not produce any effect, but it would even pose a risk of bad debt. Buyers of low-cost houses have limited ability to repay debts, so banks will not dare to grant them loans, he explained.
Who have money for flats?
Resolution 02 of the Government encourages localities to buy unsold apartments from commercial projects to use for resettlement.
Quang of Nam Long deemed this policy theoretically feasible, but the problem is whether localities have enough money to buy commercial apartments. In fact, owners of several commercial projects have lowered prices in a bid to quickly pull out of the market.
Nghia of Le Thanh said most of the unsold apartments have large sizes and high prices, not suitable for resettlement. Moreover, in the projects which have been partly sold, the buyers would object to turning the remaining flats into resettlement houses.
HCMC has bought more than 1,000 apartments from the resettlement project Rach Chiec developed by Duc Khai Co. and 470 condos of the Era Town project also developed by Duc Khai in District, together with some other projects in District 2.
In addition, the city placed orders for apartments of several projects, including 75 units from the Good House project and 160 units from the Carina project in District 8, but these deals were unsuccessful as the buyer failed to make payments on time.
The Saigon Times Daily