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Vietnam Property Market Brief Q1 2017

Macroeconomics: Vietnam remains an attractive destination for foreign investors, demonstrated by the substantial increase of 77.6% y-o-y in the newly registered FDI recorded in 1Q17. Among investors, South Korea, Singapore and China ranked the three largest sources.

Residential market: Both Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and Hanoi reported strong launching and sales activity in the first quarter of 2017. New launches came on a citywide and segment-wide manner in both main markets, and sales continued to respond positively to the new supply. The market witnessed good performance of both the investor and owner-occupier demand. In addition, thanks to the currently good market sentiment, coupled with more improvement in infrastructure development and the retail sector across the cities, prices extended their prevailing uptrends. Until year-end, good momentum in many facets of the residential markets is expected to be continued.

Office for lease market: Both HCMC and Hanoi market reported high-level net absorption rates in the first quarter of 2017, with HCMC mainly driven by the two new Grade B buildings and Hanoi led by Grade A and Grade B buildings completed in recent years 2015-16. In terms of rental rates, the Grade A segment in both markets reported q-o-q increases while the Grade B segment showed opposite trends. Some long-standing Grade B buildings in Hanoi quoted lower rents q-o-q in order to stay attractive compared to their competitors. Between now and end-2017, increased leasing activity is likely in both markets, with two new Grade A buildings expected in HCMC and five Grade B buildings expected in Hanoi.

Retail market: The retail markets in HCMC and Hanoi were quite stable in the Shopping Centre segment with no new supply. Rental rates in the Non-CBD areas of the two cities continued to experience decreases q-o-q while those in the CBD areas reported different trends. Shopping centres in the HCMC's CBD saw some slight increases in rents thanks to the increased footfall and openings of new flagship stores. The two markets in the remainder of 2017 are expected to be more active, with an addition of around 40,000-50,000 sqm of retail space to each market. The Convenience Store segment has experienced considerable growth in receny quarters and this is expected to continue into the remainder of 2017.

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