Singapore’s CapitaLand offers ‘buy now, pay later’ plan for Vietnamese residential project to entice Hong Kong investors

Singapore’s CapitaLand Development has rolled out a “buy now, pay later” scheme for a residential project in Vietnam amid slowing residential sales in the Southeast Asian country.

CapitaLand, controlled by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings, is offering the scheme to buyers for the first time since the company entered the local market in 1994. Fifty-nine fully furnished flats in Zenity, a residential project in Ho Chi Minh City, is exclusively available to buyers in Hong Kong, at prices starting from HK$3.5 million (US$446,000).

Under the scheme, units at the riverside project situated in District 1, close to Nguyen Hue Walking Street and Ben Thanh Market, can be handed over to buyers upon 30 per cent down payment. That means 10 per cent upon signing of the sale and purchase agreement and 20 per cent in the third quarter. The rest can be paid by end-September 2024.

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The payment plan is available to both foreign investors and local buyers. Foreigners, however, would not be eligible for mortgage loans in Vietnam under local regulations.

Zenity is located in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1, close to Nguyen Hue Walking Street and Ben Thanh Market. Photo: Handout

“You can actually pay 30 per cent now and move in,” said Kingston Lai, CEO of Hong Kong-based Asia Bankers Club, Golden Emperor and Ashton Hawks, the sole group selling the flats to foreign buyers. “CapitaLand brings in innovation not just in terms of product features, but they are also raising the bar by making it more exciting for investors.”

Zenity comprises 198 units ranging from two and three-bedroom flats to duplexes and penthouses. The smallest unit measures 742 square feet and the largest 1,969 sq ft. As Vietnam’s foreign quota rule allows only 30 per cent of a residential project to be sold to foreigners, only 59 units in Zenity will be offered to overseas buyers.

“The project is the first from CapitaLand offering fully furnished units,” said Jaselyn Wan, head residential operations of CapitaLand Development (Vietnam). “It is good for the buyers to move in early so they can use the unit and the facilities.”

Catch 22 for Chinese buyers as Vietnam’s snub stymies investments

The “buy now, pay later” scheme comes as property sales in Vietnam suffered a 46 per cent slump in the first quarter from a year earlier, according to the latest report from Savills. Average prices declined by 14 per cent to US$2,730 per square metre owing to the temporary withdrawal of expensive on-hold projects, it added.

Real estate developers struggled to raise funds via corporate bonds and bank loans because of increased restrictions and supervision, Savills noted.

“Transactions slowed in Vietnam due to Tet [Lunar New Year] holiday, prolonged effects of Covid-19 pandemic and recent measures from the government to curb speculation,” said David Jackson, CEO of Colliers in Vietnam. “Compared to the same period last year, when the fourth wave of Covid-19 started wrecking the country, performance in the condominium market has improved.”

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