The luxury real-estate market in Vietnam is heating up - and it's luring foreign buyers in with 'sky mansions' at a fraction of what their cost would be in NYC or Hong Kong

Feliz en VistaView from Balcony towards Saigon RiverCapitaLand Vietnam

  • Vietnam is the next luxury real-estate hotspot, Bloomberg reported.
  • An explosion of new luxe developments, fueled by a strong economy and legislation that made it easier for foreigners to buy property, is attracting wealthy international buyers.
  • These swanky condos, popping up in Ho Chi Minh City on "Saigon's Wall Street," cost a fraction of what they would in markets like New York City or Hong Kong.

Forget New York City or Hong Kong. The newest hotspot for luxury real estate is Vietnam.

The Southeast Asian country has been seeing a surge in luxury real estate development, Bloomberg reported, thanks to a booming economy and laws making it easier for foreign buyers to buy property in Vietnam.

Vietnam is "where southern China was 10 or 15 years ago," Goodwin Gaw, chairman of Hong Kong-based private-equity firm Gaw Capital Partners, told Bloomberg. Prices have been going up over the past year and a half, but investing in real estate in the country is still a good bet in the long-term, Gaw said. Prices for luxury condos in Ho Chi Minh City increased by 17% in 2018, according to Bloomberg.

ho chi minh city vietnamGetty Images

Vietnam's economy is seeing strong growth, according to Al Jazeera. And in 2015, a legislation change made it easier for international buyers to obtain long-term leases and buy property in Vietnam, Mansion Global reported.

Ultra-luxury living at a low price point

A luxury apartment in the city center of Ho Chi Minh City can cost upwards of $5,000 per square meter, or $465 per square foot, Sunny Hoang, associate director of International Residential Sales at Savills in Ho Chi Minh City, told Mansion Global. Compared to other cities, that's an absolute bargain.

In Hong Kong, a similar home can easily cost four times more than that, Hoang said.

Average prime home values in Hong Kong are now at $4,660 per square foot, according to a separate Mansion Global report, while Manhattan real estate costs an average of $1,773 per square foot.

Feliz en VistaAn artist's rendering of a swimming pool at Feliz en Vista.CapitaLand Vietnam

At Feliz en Vista, a four-tower luxury condominium development in Ho Chi Minh City's District 2 developed by Singapore-based CapitaLand, buyers can choose from a mix of garden villas, duplex penthouses, and "sky mansions." The property offers ultra-luxe amenities including a swimming pool with hot spring Jacuzzi and water slide, an outdoor movie theater, a treetop adventure walking bridge, a fitness center, sky garden, library, playground, tennis court, and parking.

The condos launched at prices between $232 and $290 per square foot. On the high end, this would come out to $1.56 million for one of the building's 500-square-foot penthouses.

More than 99% of the units at Feliz en Vista were sold by the end of 2018, a representative for the developer told Business Insider.

Feliz en VistaAn artist's rendering of Feliz en Vista in Ho Chi Minh City.CapitaLand Vietnam

And at the The Grand Manhattan, a 39-story development that will include apartments, a hotel, and restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1, known as "Saigon's Wall Street," the New York City-inspired condos start at about $557 per square foot.

Compare that to NYC, where even a tiny penthouse can cost $2,143 per square foot and it's common to see asking prices of $10 million and up. And in Hong Kong, which has one of the most expensive housing markets in the world, a modest house that many would classify as a knockdown is selling for a staggering $446 million.

Not only foreign buyers

International buyers may be jumping to invest in Vietnam real estate, but wealthy locals are giving them competition.

"We have more and more very rich Vietnamese, particularly entrepreneurs looking for places to put their money," Neil MacGregor, a managing director at Savills Vietnam, told Bloomberg.

Vietnam now has 142 people who are worth more than $30 million, according to a 2019 report from global real estate consultant Knight Frank.

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