Vietnam's ugly building oversupply problem

[News: 26 April 2023] Smoke and heat in SE Asia, New Siem Reap airport to open in October, a new airport in a far-flung corner of Laos, Vientiane-Vung Ang railway, and more.

Hello from Bangkok, where the rainy season has arrived. It has been a furnace in Southeast Asia, so I welcome the rain!

I was in Hoi An and Da Nang last week, where I was looking at some of the developments on the coast. I will have a trip report about Hoi An next week.

This week I also published my review of a big new urban area in Phan Thiet. This one took me longer to edit than I would have preferred because I was trying to write it without swearing. I was swearing a lot when visited, but thankfully there was no one around to hear me anyway.

This ties in with a few news stories listed below about Vietnam’s oversupply of buildings. Maybe “ugly” is subjective, but what is clear is that there is an oversupply of the wrong kind of building. Vietnam needs more affordable housing and fewer “luxury” villas.

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On my most recent trip to Hoi An/Da Nang, I saw another apartment development has started between the two cities. This is in the South Danang area, which is not an official name, but this is opposite the proposed South Beach Danang development. This new development is being built near the disastrous Cocobay project.

Dispatches from Southeast Asia

The new coastal resort town on the South Central coast of Vietnam.


“The long-range forecasts paint a bleak, hot outlook, with suffocating heat and smoky air across Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia.”

🇰🇭 Cambodia

🇮🇩 Indonesia

🇱🇦 Laos

"To Vientiane’s new middle class an artificial lake is a jewel; to farmers reliant on wetlands a Chinese developer drained to create it, it’s a curse."

This is one of the projects I am keeping watch on in Laos. Read more about the That Luang Lake SEZ.

Where is Nong Khang? I hear you ask. Here is Nong Khang Airport on Google Maps.

🇲🇾 Malaysia

🇵🇭 Philippines

🇸🇬 Singapore

🇹🇭 Thailand

“Property firm aims to make Amarin Plaza the next piece of its Ratchaprasong empire.”

🇻🇳 Vietnam

I’ve lost count of the amount of projects like Novaworld Phan Thiet I have seen in my travels around Vietnam. My usual reaction is “who the hell is going to buy all of these?” We are now finding out.

Not only are there too many properties, there are too many of the wrong properties. I am so sick of seeing these ugly cookie-cutter villas like these ones that are having trouble being sold in Hanoi.

Meanwhile, there is a shortage of affordable housing.

“Makeshift stores and eateries built illegally along Vung Tau’s Bai Sau (Back Beach) have been taken down to give back open space to beachgoers.”

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