VietNamNet Bridge - Japanese investors have shown their interest in the Vietnamese housing market, but they have been very cautious about their investment decisions. 


After two years of construction, SORA Gardens 1, the two 24-storey towers with 406 apartments in the new city of Binh Duong, is ready to be delivered to customers.

It is expected that when the third phase of the project is completed, SORA Gardens would province 1,500 apartments and many other items, including shopping malls and houses. 

The appearance of Tokyu Group in 2011 in Binh Duong Province as the partner of Becamex IDC in Becamex Tokyu, the joint venture that develops the project, ignited the wave of Japanese investment in the housing development sector in Vietnam.

In fact, Japan was the earliest foreign investor in Vietnam. It poured money into real estate projects as soon as Vietnam opened its market for foreign direct investment. However, Japan, unlike Hong Kong’s and Singapore, mostly put money into the hotel market segment, teaming up with Vietnamese partners to develop 3-4 star hotels in HCM City.

Analysts noted that Japanese investors have recently begun eyeing the Vietnamese housing market. They contribute capital to housing development projects, buy Vietnamese real estate firms’ shares and develop new projects. However, they seem to be more cautious compared with investors from Hong Kong.

The involvement of the two Japanese investors in the Flora Anh Dao apartment project is an example. The project, registered by Nam Long Investment JSC, has estimated investment capital of VND500 billion.

Though both Japanese investors have 100-year experience in infrastructure, logistics and housing development, they were very cautious with Flora Anh Dao, their first project in Vietnam.

Toshihiro Matsuo, a senior executive of Nishi Nippon Railroad, one of the two Japanese partners in the joint venture, the company spent three months to work with many Vietnamese companies before choosing Nam Long.

The investor said that Nishi Nippon Railroad chose HCM City for its first project instead of Hanoi, because of the increasingly high demand for accommodations from young dwellers in the city. The Ben Thanh – Suoi Tien subway, expected to become operational from 2018, would help facilitate the housing market.

Japanese “characteristics”

The director of a consultancy firm noted that Japanese investors strive to build houses for sale to take back investment capital as soon as possible.

People could not understand why Tokyu decided to build Binh Duong new city in such poor conditions.

However, according to Nakata Yasyuki, CEO of Becamex Tokyu, the current conditions in Binh Duong were similar to that in the suburb area of Tokyo in 1953. At that time, the group still decided to develop the 5,000 hectare TokyuTama Den-en Toshi urban area in the suburbs of Tokyo.