Vietnamese are giving up on their dreams of buying townhouses


After more than eight years of work, the 32-year-old tour guide had accumulated over one billion VND.

Hoai’s original plan was to buy an apartment in the capital and have her mother move in with her.

The apartment she wanted to buy cost more than 2 billion VND.

Hoai intended to borrow more than 400 million VND from the bank, with an interest rate of 10% per year for the next five years. If Hoai takes out the loan, she will have to use half of her monthly salary – almost VND 10 million – to pay off the interest and part of the principal each month.

In the first two years of the global pandemic, his income plummeted while the price of apartments at the start of 2022 rose by several hundred million additional dong.

Feeling that the harder she tried, the harder it became to buy a house, Hoai ended up buying a car with half of her savings after the Lunar New Year earlier this month.

She placed half of the remaining money in a savings and stock account.

Hoai is among many Vietnamese citizens who have had to give up their dream of owning a home in big cities as prices rise to unaffordable levels and their incomes are reduced by the pandemic.

According to real estate service provider Colliers Vietnam, average apartment prices in HCMC rose 15% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of last year, the fastest rate in the country. Meanwhile, apartment prices in Hanoi have increased by 5-10%, with most new apartments being developed in the west and east of the city.

At the beginning of 2022 VnExpress survey, 76% of respondents said they had delayed their home buying plans due to Covid-19. Among them, 45.6% said the delay would be long-term, while 30.4% said it would be short-term.

The main reason for postponing the home purchase plan was financial constraints. Twenty-five percent of respondents said they did not have enough capital, 8% were concerned about interest payments, and 11.4% said they had no capital or income to pay interest.

Thu Hien, a 31-year-old real estate agent specializing in the sale and rental of affordable apartments in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, said 40% of clients contacted his company last year with rental inquiries so that they could buy a house.

“Instead of taking out a loan to buy a VND 2 billion house or apartment, clients use their savings to invest in securities or place it in banks to earn interest.

“The interest they are getting from the bank is more than enough for them to rent a mid-range apartment for their family to live in comfortably and in a good local location for them to get around easily,” said said Hien.

Nguyen Van Dung, 32, and his wife from Hanoi’s Cau Giay district also decided to postpone their plan to buy a house after many friends sold their newly purchased apartments due to unpaid bills.

To earn more income, Dung worked two jobs at once. For several weeks in a row, he came home at 2 a.m.

After three years, they have saved more than 800 million VND, reaching the milestone they set for themselves.

Although the couple had embarked on a property search, in recent months Dung had felt dizzy and stressed. The doctor concluded that he was overworked and suffered from insomnia. He was advised to reduce his workload and take time off.

After the doctor’s examination, Hoa, Dung’s wife, gave up buying a house.

Minh Hong and her husband from Nam Tu Liem district also gave up on buying a house after realizing they couldn’t pay the interest on the loan.

To save money, Hong’s daughter suspended her extra English lessons.

“We will try to increase our income and reduce our expenses as much as possible until we can afford a house,” she said.

But when Covid-19 hit, the couple, who both work as teachers, could no longer earn extra income from tutoring.

According to the General Bureau of Statistics, the average income of workers in 2021 increased from VND 7.03 million to VND 6.5 million compared to 2020.

“Thinking about the interest I have to pay every month, I ended up giving up on my dream of owning a house,” Hong said.

After a few days of rest, Dung’s health stabilized. He chose to rent an apartment closer to his place of work for 7 million VND per month. After office hours, Hoa cooks for the whole family while Dung plays and teaches his children to study, instead of working until two in the morning.

This year they plan to take a trip within the country or travel abroad.

“Life is too short. It is better to avoid unnecessary stress. Instead of working hard to earn money to buy a house, when you are young and you can still walk, you should enjoy going here and there to create more memories.” he said.


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