Real Estate Market Expected To Drop Sharply This Year

Source: Vientiane Times

The real estate market in Laos is expected to decline by 15 percent to 20 percent this year because of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and a continuing economic slowdown.

Managing Director of Rentsbuy.com, Mr Houmphan Sayalath, told Vientiane Times on Thursday that the real estate sector, like all other sectors, was impacted by the spread of Covid-19, but the market would return to normal when the government fully opens up the country.

However, the overall real estate market across the country is projected to sharply decline this year, by 15 percent to 20 percent, compared to previous years, he said.

The economic slowdown and the spread of Covid-19 resulted in many people hardly earning any money or sustaining losses in their business operations. “They don’t have enough cash to buy more houses and land,” he said.

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Even though most house and land owners have announced they will sell properties at cheap prices, they are facing difficulties, he added.

During 2016-2017, many foreign investors, especially the Chinese, flocked to invest in Laos and they used cash to buy or rent houses and land, and owners could sell or rent their properties easily.

Currently, the Chinese government strictly controls the flow of funds overseas, and Chinese entrepreneurs are unable to transfer funds abroad, which has had an impact on demand for property in other countries, including Laos, said Mr Houmphan.

During the Covid-19 crisis, many people were more concerned about food supply in Laos and they preferred to invest in agricultural businesses. This encouraged foreign investors and local entrepreneurs to buy or rent land for agriculture, and this could help the property market grow slightly.

In addition, landowners on the outskirts of Vientiane could sell subdivided land as usual because many people from other provinces needed land to build their own houses, he said.

In order to stimulate the growth of the real estate sector in Laos, the government should promulgate a condominium to give more confidence law to foreign investors and attract them to invest in the property market, Mr Houmphan said.

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