Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Skyrocketing construction material prices leaving houses unbuilt

Vietnamese people have to pay a lot to build houses as construction material prices are increasing day by day. Many houses have been left unbuilt as their owners do not have money to pay for construction materials.

In the south, it is now the high construction season, when local residents are trying to repair their homes or build new houses before the rainy season comes. However, they are all in a state of suspense. Many may have to postpone construction due to skyrocketing construction material prices.

Nguyen Van Thung, who is building a house on Le Quang Dinh in Go Vap district, HCM City, related that he started construction three weeks ago, and construction material prices have three times increased over the last three weeks. The cement price, for example, rose from VND60,000/pack three weeks ago to VND60,500 and then to VND62,000.

Lang, a woman on Nguyen Thai Son street in Go Vap district, related that she is trying to fix her house before her son gets married. She previously thought that it would cost VND80mil, but now she thinks that it could cost twice as much.

A salesman in a construction shop on Lac Long Quan street, said that only Cam Pha cement is now available, at VND62,000/pack. Sao Mai and Ha Tien brand name cement are priced at VND64,000/pack, but the products have run out.

“We cannot promise that we will have Ha Tien brand name cement tomorrow. The supply is very short now,” the salesman said when someone asked if Ha Tien brand name cement would be available the next day.

Enamelled tile has also been witnessing sharp increases. Distributors and retailers only announce the sale prices at the time they sell products; they do not know how high prices will be several hours later. The prices have increased by VND5-20,000/sq m over the last couple of weeks.

Cement producers affirm that they have not raised prices. However, as the demand is very high in the construction season, sales agents say they don’t think the market will be back to normal before the end of June.
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