Whether you’re shopping for a new commercial property or a home in Vietnam, it’s crucial to consider the price. However, if you’re not familiar with this East Asian nation, you might struggle to find the cheapest property in Vietnam.
We’ve created this guide to help you save money and choose the best possible Vietnamese city for your needs and preferences. We excluded many rural properties from this article, focusing mainly on popular cities for tourists and ex-pats.
Vietnam’s less-developed areas tend to lack crucial infrastructure, including paved roadways and reliable internet connectivity. These areas are also highly agricultural, relying on farming for economic stability and growth.
Instead of focusing on these idyllic villages and provinces, we turned our attention to the biggest and brightest cities across Vietnam. By comparing more than a dozen potential sites, we settled on a final five that are budget-friendly, economically vibrant, and full of unforgettable experiences.
- Vietnam is one of the most rapidly developing countries in East Asia, with a consumeristic middle class that’s expected to account for roughly 26% of the total population by 2026.
- The tourism industry in Vietnam has grown steadily over the last several decades, partially due to decreased visa and travel restrictions on tourists from China, South Korea, Germany, Spain, and France.
- Generally, the cost of living is far lower in Vietnam than in the United States, Canada, or European countries, opening the Vietnamese real estate market to interested foriegn retirees and expatriates.
- Prices for consumer goods in Vietnam are about 47.48% lower than in the United States.
- Vietnam is the 41st most affordable nation in the world according to an international cost of living index. It ranks relatively low on the list of the most expensive Asian countries for tourists, earning 14th place out of 24 total countries.
- The average home in Vietnam costs approximately $4,500. Monthly rent varies, but the average cost is about $650, and this price often includes utilities.
- While violent crime rates are fairly low across Vietnam, many cities experience a high rate of property-related crimes, such as petty theft and burglary.
1. Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City isn’t the capital city of Vietnam, though you wouldn’t know it by looking at it. Not only is Ho Chi Minh City the most populated city in Vietnam, but it’s also one of the most technologically advanced and commercial-friendly areas of East Asia.
You can quickly find yourself staring up in awe at the many unique skyscrapers, pagodas, shopping plazas, and luxury apartments here. This appearance might give you the impression that Ho Chi Minh City is only for the rich and powerful.
However, this vast cityscape happens to be home to some of Vietnam’s most affordable properties. It also happens to have some of the most expensive homes and retail spaces. This paradox can be somewhat confusing, but it’s crucial to note that many of Ho Chi Minh City’s most expensive areas are close to touristic areas, official government buildings, and commercial centers.
Choosing an apartment or storefront far from the city center could help you experience everything that Ho Chi Minh City has to offer — without having you pay a steep price. Even if you choose a mid-range home here, you’ll likely pay about 60% less to live here than what you’d pay in New York City.
It isn’t challenging to find well-located, well-furnished, updated apartments for less than $1,000 (USD) here. In fact, fully-furnished apartments are standard here, helping to eliminate expensive moving costs. You can secure a one-bedroom, pre-furnished, modernized flat for as little as $700 per month, and this price often includes utility costs.
A permanent home or apartment in Ho Chi Minh City might set you back about $200,000, though more luxurious and spacious properties tend to sell for upwards of $500,000. Still, these costs are incredibly cheap when compared to similar homes in other massive cosmopolitan areas, making Ho Chi Minh City a top pick for retirees and ex-pats.
2. Bien Hoa
Take a moment to consider how bustling and modern Ho Chi Minh City is. Now imagine a small city that is virtually the antithesis of Ho Chi Minh City. You might be picturing something that is very much like Bien Hoa in the Dong Nai Province.
The fifth-largest city in Vietnam, Bien Hoa still retains much of its ancient and rural charm and appearance. This aesthetic could fool you into thinking that the city doesn’t have much to offer, but you’d be sadly mistaken. Slowly but surely, Bien Hoa is blossoming into one of Vietnam’s new contemporary metropolises.
Investing now could save you a ton of money further down the line, and current construction reveals that both commercial and residential enterprises are beginning to find success in Bien Hoa. While the Ho Chi Minh Highway was the primary paved road in the city, you’ll find that asphalt has already overtaken many of the small dirt pathways here.
Rent prices are remarkably low, with the average monthly cost coming to about $500. Utilities average to about $60 per month, and food prices are lower than those found in most North American or European cities.
To buy a home in this fast-growing city, you’ll need to invest between $20,000 and $400,000. Commercial spaces sell for between $200,00 and $6,000,000. As you can see, prices are only likely to rise as Bien Hoa urbanizes and modernizes. Before you know it, this burgeoning city might be Vietnam’s next Da Nang City!
3. Da Nang
Da Nang might be the unofficial ex-pat capital of Vietnam, and for some pretty understandable reasons. Da Nang is the biggest Central Vietnam city and is home to several universities, a theme park, gorgeous natural attractions, and white-sanded beach areas.
There are also a smattering of museums and historical sites and an abundance of restaurants, cafes, fine dining establishments, and street markets. Da Nang blends the natural beauty of mountainous Vietnam with the modern luxuries and conveniences of Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi.
Most apartments here come equipped with WiFi, updated appliances, and gorgeous hardwood floors. Air conditioning is also widespread throughout Da Nang, helping residents withstand the hot, humid summers. Rent prices vary from about $200 to $5,000.
However, the average rent price for multi-bedroom Da Nang apartments tends to fall somewhere around $700. Still, fees often vary depending on location and amenities. Utilities tend to average at about $150 per month, and this price includes electricity, water usage, WiFi, and phone bills.
Generally, retirees and ex-pats spend about $1,100 per month to live in Da Nang, a total that reflects all aspects of life, including entertainment and dining out. If you fall in love with this city (and many people do), you can acquire a permanent residence for between $130,000 and $1,400,000.
Luxurious villas and resort-style properties tend to average out at about $500,000, which is still significantly cheaper than many similar homes in North America or Europe. Because Da Nang is a commercial epicenter for Central Vietnam, retail properties can be pricey. However, the overall cost of living here (rent included) is surprisingly cheap!
Unlike many of our other top picks, Hanoi isn’t directly on the sandy shores of the South China Sea. Instead, it’s tucked back a little further into the heartland of Vietnam. And as the capital city of Vietnam, there are several major coastal port cities and towns that feed into Hanoi, keeping its produce, seafood, and commercial products consistently fresh and available.
However, because Hanoi is the capital, prices tend to be slightly higher than in more rural areas. You can find a swanky, well-outfitted apartment in the heart of Hanoi for about $900 — a small price to pay when compared to the cost of living in other capital cities across the world.
Additionally, many Hanoi apartments cost between $300 and $500 each month, and utilities might run you about $75 per month. If you’d like to buy a home here, you’ll likely spend between $3,000 and $3,000,000. Naturally, the pricier properties are massive, modern, and located near high-ranking official buildings.
You can find luxurious studios and one-bedroom apartments for an average of $75,000. These costs make Hanoi one of the most expensive areas for prospective homeowners, though the city’s outskirts are home to some truly budget-friendly options. Just as with Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi is a city of duality.
It has some of the most expensive properties in Vietnamese, but also some of the cheapest. The cost of living in Vietnam’s capital city is comparatively low, ensuring that residents and visitors can afford life’s necessities. As such, you can invest a decent amount of money into property here, then sit back and enjoy everything Hanoi has to offer!
5. Cao Bang
Like Hanoi, Cao Bang isn’t a coastal city. In fact, it is the most landlocked city out of all the options presented here. It’s also one of the Vietnamese cities that is relatively close to the border with China.
However, this region’s close proximity to the Chinese border isn’t the only source of increased economic growth for Cao Bang. Cao Bang happens to play host to one of the world’s most remarkable waterfalls, Ban Gioc. As such, travelers from all across the world regularly make a stop here.
Cao Bang City is far smaller than Ho Chi Minh City or Da Nang City, but it’s economy has steadily become stronger and more influential over the last few decades. Many investors are becoming ever more interested in Cao Bang City due to its long-term potential as an international tourist destination.
Those hoping to move here might have to pick their jaw off the floor when they see the incredibly low housing prices. It’s challenging to find homes that cost more than $30,000. Rent is equally cheap, as are luxury hotel rooms.
Overall, Cao Bang City and its surrounding area is a fine choice for anyone hoping to enjoy a more natural lifestyle, as the many natural wonders found in this province continually inspire those who live and visit here. However, infrastructure is limited, and those hoping for high-speed internet might find themselves disappointed.
While we’re proud of our top selections and feel that they truly are the most affordable (and potentially profitable) cities in Vietnam, there are a few additional picks that deserve a brief mention.
Though you’ll likely find a few amazing rent prices in Ho Chi Minh City or Da Nang, you can also expect great deals in:
- Nha Trang
- Hoi An
Whether you’re an investor, entrepreneur, retiree, or ex-pat, you’ll want to check out these three interesting cities before settling on a final destination. While these locations might not be as notorious as Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi, they’re just as interesting, alluring, and worthwhile.
Haiphong is a coastal city that’s just southwest out of Hanoi, which is a significant plus for anyone who enjoys the feel of Hanoi but not the prices. You can find comfortable apartments in Haiphong for between $150 and $3,000 per month.
Still, the average rent price is about $500, with utilities tending to average out to about $60 each month. Many of the most expensive properties are either luxurious and centrally located. The more affordable options tend to be just as modern, convenient, and comfortable as their pricier counterparts.
But these apartments are often smaller (one or two-bedroom places), and they may not be as close to the city center and nearby Halong Bay, a popular tourist destination. Small condominiums in Haiphong sell for anywhere between $22,000 and $900,000, depending on the age, location, and amenities included in the property.
Because Haiphong has a well-developed port, it’s a consistent trading point for various commercial enterprises. Consequently, visitors and residents can find a multitude of shopping districts, restaurants, and cruise opportunities.
As one of the most northern cities in Vietnam, Haiphong is a showcase of Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, and Taiwanese culture. Residents and visitors can explore coastal caves, thrilling nightclubs and bars, and the forests of Cat Ba Island from the comfort of Haiphong.
Many of Vietnam’s most affordable and comfortable cities can be found along the nation’s long coastline. Nha Trang is no exception. However, one of the things that sets Nha Trang apart from other locations is its superior-quality beaches and scuba diving opportunities.
However, in the background of the Nha Trang City skyline, you can also spot the Vong Phu Mountain and the forested areas surrounding it. This makes Nha Trang City one of the best midway cities that balances natural landmarks with urban growth. This city is home to many religious buildings and historical landmarks, making it a history lover’s paradise.
There are dozens, potentially hundreds, of coffee shops and restaurants serving Vietnamese, Thai, Italian, and international cuisine. Nha Trang City is a popular destination for travelers from all over the world, and its shopping and dining opportunities reflect this diversity. Retirees and ex-pats looking to enjoy a taste of the world are bound to enjoy what Nha Trang has to offer, though prices are higher here than in other Vietnamese cities.
Well-equipped luxury apartments near the city center easily sell for between $20,000 and more than $100,000. Commercial properties are equally expensive, especially storefronts near the heart of Nha Trang City.
However, rent is still more affordable here than in the majority of European or North American cities, with prices typically falling between $350 and $900 per month. Utilities cost, on average, about $100 per month.
The coastal city of Hoi An (only about 18 miles south of Da Nang) reveals the changing culture of Vietnam through its buildings, which are a mixing pot of architectural styles. This unique city is home to friendly restaurants, mouth watering street food, vast markets, and a relaxing span of beach that faces the South China Sea.
Since this city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999, Hoi An has also been a relatively popular tourist destination. Consequently, commercial investors are bound to enjoy a steady source of revenue after opening a business in Hoi An. However, finding for-sale commercial property can be challenging.
Still, prospective residents might be surprised to learn that residential properties are far more plentiful and affordable in Hoi An. Ex-pats and retirees can expect to spend $500,000 or less on a home here, and many of the available properties have swimming pools, terraces, and upgraded features.
Rent prices are even more budget-friendly, though rentable properties might not be quite as decadent. That said, standard apartments are equipped with air conditioning and WiFi capabilities, ensuring that residents are comfortable and connected. Outside of rent and utilities, most will likely spend the majority of their money on dining out and grocery shopping.
Which Vietnamese city is the cheapest? Somewhat surprisingly, the answer might be the biggest city in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City. While this city is often considered one of the most expensive places to live in Vietnam, it also offers plenty of affordable, low-cost housing options and tons of cheap restaurants and street food markets.
But if big city life isn’t your dream come true, you might want to start eyeballing properties. But how much do houses cost in Vietnam? As with most other places, prices tend to vary depending on current infrastructure and population demands.
In short, rural places with few modern conveniences can have fantastically cheap homes for sale. But they may not offer many economic or entertainment opportunities for residents and visitors.
Alternatively, larger cities might have plenty of air conditioning, WiFi, and contemporary commercial shopping centers. But finding a low-price home can be far more challenging in these hi-tech cities.
The best choice for you depends on your budget and preferences, and there are several worthwhile locations that might fit the bill. Whether you’re hoping to take in the lights and sounds of the city in Ho Chi Minh or find some serenity near the Ban Gioc waterfalls in Cao Band, Vietnam’s cities are waiting to welcome you home.
Do you agree with our choices for the most affordable cities in Vietnam? Be sure to let us know in the comments!