The Grand Manhattan embraces the latest in New York living. The 39-story development will house apartments, a hotel, restaurants and some of the most expensive real estate in the country. But instead of Central Park views, it's located in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1, better known as Saigon's Wall Street.
Such opulence would have been inconceivable in 1995 when Nhon shifted Novaland into real estate. The communist country has since become one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Expansion has averaged more than 6 percent per year over the past 20 years, after Vietnam opened up to foreign investment and began taking the shackles off its private-sector companies. More recently, factories have been relocating from Southern China, helping GDP to top 7 percent last year.
That's spurring overseas investors to target the nation's real estate, alongside a rapidly growing cohort of well-heeled domestic buyers, eager to put hard currency into property. In a world where home prices are looking precarious from London to Hong Kong, Sydney and New York, it makes Vietnam an attractive location.
While demand from overseas investors remains strong, the latest wave of buyers are Vietnam's newly prosperous. The number of people with net assets of $30 million or more increased by 320 percent from 2006 and 2016, the fastest pace globally ahead of India and China, according to a 2017 report by Knight Frank.
Neil MacGregor, a managing director at Savills Vietnam, the sales agent for The Grand Manhattan, said "We have more and more very rich Vietnamese, particularly entrepreneurs looking for places to put their money,".
"Most Asian businesses always turn to real estate when they become successful in whatever core business they have," said Andy Ho, chief investment officer at VinaCapital Group Ltd. "When their country's wealth grows up, people buy real estate."