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A makeshift wall in Hanoi can fetch a million dollars

Nearly a million U.S. dollars was the asking price for a wall-cum-fence 18.7m long and 28cm wide in Nguyen Van Huyen street.
Nearly a million U.S. dollars was the asking price for a wall-cum-fence 18.7m long and 28cm wide in Nguyen Van Huyen street.

Nearly a million U.S. dollars was the asking price for a wall-cum-fence 18.7m long and 28cm wide in Hanoi.
This property stood on Nguyen Van Huyen Road, Quan Hoa Ward, Cau Giay District.

Vu Van Thang, a land officer of Quan Hoa Ward said the wall was actually what was left of Tuan’s (not real name) property after his land was taken for an infrastructure project in 2015, with authorities deciding to extend Nguyen Van Huyen Road to run through three big urban areas in the capital city.

Tuan built a wall made of thin metal plates and fence on the small piece of land to mark his territory.

The piece of land that constituted the wall adjoined a property belonging to Quang (also not real name), which was 140 square meters wide.

“Quang’s land, without the frontage (of Tuan’s “wall”) would only be valued at VND70-80 million ($3,000-3,400) per square meter. But when you add the frontage, the price can go up to VND400 million ($17,100) per square meter,” said Vu Ngoc Nga of Hanoi Real Estate Association.

So that wall could easily be sold for VND20 billion ($857,000) that Tuan requires, or even higher, she said.

Basically, the phenomenon is that after most of a resident’s land has been taken away for some projects, mostly to build roads, some small pieces of land remain, that become frontage for properties behind it. These small pieces of land attract a huge price, because, without the frontage, the property value goes down.

Following media reports about the million-dollar wall, Le Manh Tien, Vice Chairman of Quan Hoa Ward, said that in other similar cases, if the owners of small pieces of land do not join it with others, they will be confiscated for public use like billboards, bus stations or ATM booths.

Tien said there were about 25 small pieces of land like Tuan’s on Nguyen Van Huyen Road, and they’re still on the market with sky-high price tags.