GuocoLand taking bite out of Vietnamese housing development pie

October 27, 2006


By Priyia Paramajothi, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 25 October 2006 2030 hrs

Photos 1 of 1

Ho Chi Minh City


SINGAPORE: Singapore-listed GuocoLand is aiming for a slice of the lucrative housing development pie in Vietnam.

The property developer was recently awarded an investment licence to build a mixed development project, located within the Singapore Vietnam Industrial Park in Binh Duong Province.

The housing development sector in Vietnam is booming.

According to IE Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City will need an additional 32 million square metres of housing over the next 5 years, to meet the needs of its growing population.

GuocoLand, which is well known in Singapore for its luxury housing projects, like Leonie Studios in prestigious District 9, also has a wide regional footprint in China and Malaysia.

It has now set its sights on Vietnam where the residential market is at a very early stage of development.

Trina Loh, Managing Director of GuocoLand Singapore, says: “Especially with the big population of 82 million and when the population is very young, with the average age of 25 years, I think there will be a lot of household formation and this will lead to high demand for housing.”

“Our target market would be the mid to high-range of the residential market,” she says.

The Binh Duong integrated Hub will be the company’s second investment in Vietnam.

GuocoLand’s first venture in the country was in the mid 1990’s with the Guoman Hanoi Hotel.

But with a 17.5 hectare site and US$58m investment, the Binh Duong integrated project is in a different league.

Loh says that they intend to have residential apartments, shopping centres, sports and entertainment facilities, as well as a hotel that will cater to the businessmen in the region.

The development is the first of its kind in the economic zone 17 kilometres north of Ho Chi Minh.

It will be built on prime land within the Singapore Vietnam Industrial Park.

Phase one is scheduled to be completed by 2009.

With a booming economy, Vietnam’s property sector appears bright.

Peter Lee, Assistant Director of Southeast Asia, Int’l Operations Group at IE Singapore, says: “The Vietnam economy has been growing at 7 percent rate for the last 5 years.”

“With such a growing economy and rising affluence, there is a need for better housing and the Vietnamese government is also encouraging high-rise housing in the city centres,” he adds.

Besides property developers, IE Singapore says there are also opportunities for companies engaged in master planning, architecture, construction and estate management. – CNA/so

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