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Residential property for digital nomads could be a potential segment

Apartment buildings along Sài Gòn River, HCM City. A number of factors were making Việt Nam a destination for digital nomads, including the development of information technology and Internet which enable favourable conditions for working remotely. — VNA/VNS Photo Hồng Đạt

HÀ NỘI — Residential property and offices for digital nomads could be a potential segment for the real estate market amid the increasing trend of working from home, providing significant opportunities for developers to capitalise on.

According to the real estate services firm Savills, several factors are making Việt Nam a destination for digital nomads, including the development of information technology and the internet, which enable favourable conditions for working remotely.

In addition, a relatively low cost of living compared to other developed countries, an improving business environment with favourable conditions for start-ups and tech firms, beautiful scenery, and diverse culture are important factors that attract digital nomads to Việt Nam.

Việt Nam was ranked eighth in the list of the world’s top 10 destinations for digital nomads by the Canadian magazine The Travel in early 2022.

The community site Digital Nomads earlier this year ranked HCM City as one of the world’s top 10 cities for remote workers, thanks to its affordable cost of living.

The cost of living in Việt Nam is among the cheapest compared to other countries in Southeast Asia, ranked 138th out of the 197 most expensive countries in the world, according to the newswire LivingCost’s report. The report adds that spending for a family of four in the country is estimated at around US$1,693 each month and $639 for a single person.

According to Savills, factors such as air connectivity, climate, quality of life, and Internet speed, along with the availability and affordability of prime rental property, are essential to attract digital nomads.

Nomads often want everything ready when they move in, including furniture and an Internet connection, offering significant opportunities for real estate developers to capitalise on. Furthermore, there are opportunities to develop high-quality office space and co-working spaces.

Currently, the office and residential market in the two major regions of Việt Nam continues to experience limited new supply, according to a report by CBRE Vietnam earlier this year.

A Lonely Planet survey of over 1,400 respondents, comprising 67 different nationalities across six countries including the US, Mexico, Portugal, Indonesia, and Spain, found that more than half now consider themselves ‘anywhere workers’.

A report by MBO Partners indicated that the US, which is among the countries where nomadism is becoming mainstream, now has approximately 17.3 million American workers identifying as digital nomads. This number grew by 2 per cent from 2022 after witnessing a staggering 131 per cent increase from the pre-pandemic year of 2019 to 2022.

Many countries have taken initiatives to attract digital nomads, including introducing visa policies, such as Brazil, Mexico, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.

However, there have been warnings that the rise of digital nomads might push locals towards the risk of contending with rent inflation and a skyrocketing cost of living.— VNS