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Investors expect big gains from expected real-estate recovery   2008-09-22 - VNS

The real estate downturn is emerging as an opportunity for investors, including moneyed individuals, to buy houses at low prices and make big gains when the market recovers.

Nguyen Lam Phuong, a landlord who often visits real estate transaction floors in HCM City, says the current prices of properties were dropping rather steeply, making it the most suitable time to buy houses.

Phuong now owns one apartment in District 7’s Hoang Anh Gia Lai apartment complex, and two in District 2’s An Phu-An Khanh complex.

"I bought all these apartments from those whose bank debts were due and the owners had to sell them at very low rates," he says.

Some customers of the Sai Gon Commercial Real Estate Joint Stock Company (Sacomreal) also say they are on the lookout for apartments at cheap prices.

"Because we are using our savings, we are not in a hurry to buy apartments. We are very cautious before making an investment decision, and want to buy properties that have prices lower than market rates," says one.

Apart from individual investors, companies with good finances are also in the market for cheap apartments.

These investors have a lot of cash to spare, so they can make long-term investments and sell when they can make big profits easily, says Phan Nam, also from Sacomreal’s property transaction floor.

The bigger investors have their eyes on apartments at Hoang Anh Gia Lai, Phu My or Him Lam – Kenh Te apartment complexes, according to Lam Van Chuc, general director of Phu Duc Real Estate Company Ltd.

"Most apartments at these buildings have prices averaging US$1,000 per sq.m; rates that are considered rather reasonable and suitable for many investors’ coffers," Chuc says.

He says investing in cheap houses now would return high profits whether bought directly from project owners or from other investors.

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