Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi are the country's two main metropolitan centres for investment, given their population profile, extent of FDI and their excellent location.
Other areas that present good opportunities are tourist and resort areas along the coast.
Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh offers the vibrancy of a commercial city, complete with high rise buildings and the hustle and bustle of a plethora of shops, alongside the legacy of an ancient and fascinating culture. It is often known as the 'Pearl of the Far East' or the 'Paris in the Orient' due to the strong French colonial influences still evident in the city. HCMC is the largest city in Vietnam as well as the economic and financial centre.
The city's population is growing fast, and it has one of the quickest expanding micro-economies in the world. Moreover, it is the biggest receiver of FDI in Vietnam. As such, it attracts both domestic migrants, especially a growing Vietnamese middle class, as well as an increasing number of expatriates, creating a high demand for residential housing.
As a result Ho Chi Minh City offers a good potential market for capital appreciation as well as rentals.
As the cultural capital of Vietnam, Hanoi has18 stunning lakes, the Temple of Literature and the One Pillar Pagoda. Situated on the banks of the Red River Hanoi's beauty lies in its mix of French and the Chinese architecture. Like HCMC, Hanoi is receiving a great deal of FDI and the non-state economic sector is expanding rapidly. On top of this, key infrastructure improvements are underway.
Da Nang, Vung Tau, Phu Quoc Island
Major coastal areas like Da Nang, Vung Tau and Phu Quoc Island are also seeing significant interest and development tied to the growing tourism industry.
Da Nang is a key port and economic hub, advantageously positioned between Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. Well known for its pristine beaches and in close proximity to many historical and UNESCO-listed world heritage sites, it attracts more than 1 million visitors annually. The Marble Mountains are an outstanding cultural hotspot in the area with several Buddhist temples built into caves within the summits.
The five peaks are said to represent the five elements of fire, wood, water, earth and metal and a great deal of mystery surrounds the area which legend states contains vast amounts of treasure. Another popular destination in the area is China Beach which lies a few kilometres south of the city. This area is famous for its action during the Vietnamese conflict as a landing ground for Australian and American soldiers, and evidence of the conflict is still visible along the beach. However its lengthy white sands have made it a key tourist destination and investors would do well to look into this area, with its leasing opportunities both to tourists and expatriates in Da Nang.
Vung Tau has many sprawling beaches including Front Beach and Back Beach and is popular with Vietnamese looking for weekend getaways. The area is also very important in terms of Vietnam's offshore oil industry and is the site of Vietnam's only petroleum base. Large resort investments are springing up in Vung Tau including the Saigon Atlantis, Vung Tau Aquarium and Bau Trung theme park.
Phu Quoc Island currently draws in tourists to its beautiful beaches and is known for its production of black pepper and fish sauce, while a pearl farm was also recently established. The island is linked to the mainland by ferries and there are plans underway for a new international airport. With an average temperature of 27 degrees and highs of 35 degrees in the months of April and May and golf and casino complexes planned for the future, it is no wonder that tourism is rapidly increasing on the island.
Nha Trang is a coastal city on the South Central Coast of Vietnam, world renowned for its sandy white beaches, seafood, scuba diving and one of the world's most stunning bays. Despite receiving copious investment, it still retains its relaxed charm. Linked to the theme park on Bamboo Island by chairlift, it is popular with backpackers and Vietnamese tourists alike. Nha Trang is probably the fastest growing city in terms of property development outside Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and would be a good place to invest.