Thursday, May 7, 2009

Houses with bird nests up for sale

An advertisement which says a house in district 7 in HCM City with swift nests is for sale has caught people’s attention. Swift nests, an ingredient in the famed bird’s nest soup, is priced at VND27-54mil, or $1,500-3,000/kg on the market.

The salanganes’ house in Go Cong town in Tien Giang provinceAs the demand for real estate has been decreasing due to the global economic recession, real estate developers have had to launch a lot of promotion programmes to boost sales. Some real estate development firms have announced $5,000-7,000 rebates to support car purchases, while others are offering lucky draws with Mercedes as the prizes.

However, this is the first time a real estate seller has offered a house alongside the idea of breeding birds.

But Saigon Land put forth a similar idea previously. Leaders of the company have revealed that the company has nearly completed a scheme to combine the raising of swifts with real estate. The project was kicked off in 2004.

Commenting about the above advertisement piece, General Director of Saigon Land Le Quang Hang noted that selling a house along with which one can harvest swift nests proves to be a very attractive offer nowadays, as buyers could get a return on their investment in just a short time.

He added that the most important thing in raising swifts is successfully luring them to houses. In order to lure them, it is necessary to make a thorough study about the environment of the places where the houses of swifts are expected to be set. Moreover, it requires a masterstroke to design houses for swifts. All air holes and windows need to be closed, except a small hole above through which the birds fly out and in. The walls of the houses also need to be designed with special materials.

Hang has revealed that his company plans to launch the special real estate product onto the market in May. Customers who purchase Saigon Land products will get free houses for raising swifts.

According to Saigon Land, the total investment cost of a small swift nest is about VND100mil, but it can reach one billion VND for a large house.

Raising swifts has become more popular in Vietnam. The movement of raising the birds has been booming for 10 years in central region provinces, including Phu Yen, Nha Trang, Binh Dinh, Khanh Hoa and Da Nang, and provinces in the east of the southern region like Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Vung Tau.

In HCM City, households in suburban areas of the city (districts 2, 3, 7, 9, BInh Thanh and Nha Be) began raising swifts in houses three years ago.

At Dai Nam tourism area in Binh Duong province, after the local investor created artificial mountains to serve visitors, swifts automatically flew to nest there. Every month the birds roosting there provide 18-20 kg of nests.

In Go Cong district in Tien Giang province, swifts appeared before people thought about going after them. Subsequently, a lot of families built ‘apartments’ for swift couples. Some people have spent several billion VND to build houses for birds. However, the success rate remains low, with only 2-3 houses of five able to lure the sought-after birds.

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