Hunt for Pre-Owned Apartments: A Huge Crowd of Visitors, Snatch the Unit Right On the Spot

The second-hand apartment market has been quite bustling recently. This market offers advantages in terms of affordability, numerous options, and better legal guarantees.


Mr. Son and his wife bought a 2-bedroom apartment, with an area of 74m2, in the project located on Nguyen Xien street, Thanh Tri district for 2.1 billion VND in 2018. After planning to move to Dong Da district for convenience, Mr. Son immediately contacted a real estate agent to list his old apartment for sale right after the Lunar New Year holiday.

He listed the apartment for 3 billion VND with the agent and said that there was a constant stream of visitors coming to view the property every day. “There were nights when more than ten potential buyers came to see the apartment. Some were willing to pay immediately if I could reduce the price by 100 million VND. However, I didn’t agree to the offer because there were many interested buyers, so why should I lower the price?” shared Mr. Son. After 5 days of listing, Mr. Son successfully sold the apartment at the expected price.

Meanwhile, Mr. Trung from Dong Da district just sold his 2-bedroom apartment, with an area of 83m2, for 3.6 billion VND in 2018. Mr. Trung decided to move to a different place due to some issues with the building. He thought it would be difficult to find a buyer considering the building’s problems. However, he was able to sell it within 2 weeks for 4.3 billion VND.

Mr. Ngo Hong Phuong has been searching for a used apartment since October last year but hasn’t found the right one yet. Mr. Phuong shared that his family planned to change schools for their child, so they decided to find projects near the new school. He asked a real estate agent to find the projects he had specified. However, every time the agent informed him about an available apartment, it was already sold by the time he arrived to view it.

“The agent told me that at this time, any apartment that isn’t sold quickly will be bought by other customers,” Mr. Phuong said.

New supply is limited, and the decrease in the number of handed-over apartments has boosted the active real estate market. (Illustrative image)

According to Ms. Pham Ha, a real estate agent in Thanh Xuan district, the demand for used apartments has increased significantly since the end of last year, especially for projects near schools, offices, and government agencies. Every time there is an available unit, there is always a large number of people coming to view it. There are customers who notify the agent about their criteria and the agent spends a whole month searching but still can’t find an apartment that meets their requirements. On the other hand, many people who want to sell their apartments see the high prices and decide to wait for the prices to increase even more. This makes the supply even scarcer.

According to Ms. Do Thu Hang, Senior Director of Research & Advisory at Savills Hanoi, the limited new supply and the decrease in the number of handed-over apartments have created a bustling real estate market. From 2020 to 2024, the number of handed-over apartments will decrease by 36% annually, while the primary market prices will be around 48% higher than the secondary market, leading to a large amount of demand shifting to the secondary market of used apartments.

Ms. Hang also stated that in the context of limited supply and high primary prices, the opportunity for those who want to buy an apartment may lie in the secondary market. The secondary market offers more options that are suitable for the buyer’s budget and have better legal security.

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