Demand for apartments seems to be raging. Are people applying so desperately so that they could live in them? Prospective buyers and speculators scrambled again yesterday to pay deposits for an apartment block in Phu My Hung, HCM City, the third such incident in less than a week.
After stampeding to register for apartments at Capitaland and Van Phat Hung since last Thursday October 25, they queued up out-side Indovina Bank in District 1 at 6 a.m. yesterday to transfer funds to the Phu My Hung Company, which plans to build 300 apartments in District 7. Newspaper Thanh Nien found 1,000 people at the scene two hours later and bank guards said they were unable to control the crowds.
An official told Thanh Nien that Phu My Hung would begin construction of Sky Garden III in January next year. On November 4 around 1,000 applicants will participate in a draw of lots for allotment of the 300 apartments, he said.
Applicants have to put down deposits between yesterday and 31 to take part.
An applicant complained to Thanh Nien that the cumber-some procedures had left buyers fatigued and frustrated.
Another said she had queued up at 6 a.m. but was still unable to enter the bank and had to go to another branch of Indovina Bank in District 7 to pay the money.
Truong Quoc Hung, a Phu My Hung executive, dismissed charges that the firm had violated regulations by collecting deposits even before building the foundation of the proposed apartment block. He said his firm would only spend the money when construction work began. He added that buyers would not be allowed to transfer their apartments until May 2010, when the project was completed, to prevent speculation.
But Lam Van Chuc, director of the Phuc Duc Real Estate Company, laughed off Hung’s claim saying this would not put off speculators. They would surely transfer ownership through tacit agreements well before that, he said.
Another property investor, name withheld, told Thanh Nien yesterday that rates at Phu My Hung-built apartments were the highest in HCM City. An apartment costing two billion dong (US$124,000) could easily be rented for 16 million dong (US$1,000) a month, he said. Therefore, he did not rule out the possibility that many of the applicants were buying to rent them out.