Making news

COVID-19 threatens property brokers with unemployment

The COVID-19 pandemic has become a new challenge for property brokers who have been facing many since last year due to the low supply in the market.

Le Thi Hong Tham, a broker in Ho Chi Minh City’s district 7, posted an image of a beggar on her Facebook page and said she would become like that soon.

A broker for many years, she told Vietnam News the situation is very difficult for her and others.

“In recent days there have been no transactions, not even lease contracts. I cannot find any clients.”

Since the beginning of this year she has managed only one transaction.

“A client asked me to sell over 10 shops in formerly-bustling Bui Vien Street in District 1 of HCM City. In the past this would have been a very good deal, but now it is not. I posted the information over 10 days ago, but no one is interested.”

In Hanoi, there is a similar situation.

A broker in Cau Giay district with nearly 10 years’ experience said he had never ever seen a difficult period like now.

The market has been in a slump since the middle of last year and worsened in the last three months, and his company has not carried out any transaction, he told Dau Tu Bat Dong San (Property Investment) magazine.

To earn a living, he moonlights as a Grab car driver, he said, adding if the situation persists, he would have to sell his car.

A report from the Vietnam Real-Estate Brokers Association said many brokerages closed last year due to low supply.

In addition to the low supply, the new Decree 100 and the Law on Alcohol Harm Prevention have also had a huge impact because few people are looking for places to open restaurants with many existing ones in fact wanting to shut even before the lease contract ends.

This year would be another challenging one with the pandemic worsening the situation.

Nguyen Van Dinh, deputy chairman of the association, said the problems related to licensing property developments had not been resolved and even less money than last year would flow in.

But professional and renowned brokerages could still do well, he added.