As Sapa’s land funds are growing increasingly scarce and land prices are going through the roof, investors are eyeing areas within a two-kilometre radius from Sapa centre. Investors claim this is the right time to step ahead because once Sapa district officially receives the town status, the central area will grow and current bordering areas will further appreciate.
Nguyen Van Cong, general director of MidLand Group, said when Sapa was declared ready to become a town at the end of 2017, the number of interested investors in resort real estate in the area has increased sharply, especially at projects located near the old Sapa district.
In the past three years, Sapa land price has triple, from VND90 million per square meter (m2) to VND150-160 million m2. The price of Sapa's most beautiful location remains VND300-400 million per m2. Currently, the centre of Sapa is hardly any vacant lots.
In case of buying resort apartments, the number of customers in Sapa Jade Hill Resort invested by Truong Giang Sapa Group has doubled on-year in 2017, and the selling price also rose by 20-30 per cent. The 49.69ha Sapa Jade Hill Resort is one of Sapa’s largest-scale projects and includes 125 villas, 151 commercial houses, and 6 three-to-five-star hotels.
Besides, experts also claim that with strong transport infrastructure and the planning of the town, Sapa will certainly become an attractive destination for real estate investors.
In order to prepare for becoming a town, the Lao Cai People’s Committee approved Decision No.642/QD-UBND in 2016 to extend the 888ha site of Sapa’s central area, upgrading the entire area of Sapa town to 5,525 hectares.
By 2030, Sapa’s population will reach 74,000 people, construction land will be about 1,500ha, and Sapa urban area after expanding its administrative boundaries will approach the Level 4 urban standards.
Additionally, the provincial authority has also spent hundreds of millions dollars investing and upgrading Sapa’s transport infrastructure, particularly the VND2.518-trillion ($114.4 million), 29.2km Lao Cai-Sapa Expressway that will help shorten the travel time to and from Hanoi to only four hours (from the current six hours).
According to the representatives of Savills Vietnam Ltd., the breakthrough in tourist arrivals is creating many development opportunities for the area’s real estate market. Especially, the Lao Cai-Sapa Expressway to be put into operation in 2019 and breaking ground at Lao Cai International Airport in the near future will be important incentives.
Tourist arrivals to Sapa increased in recent years. Specifically, in 2017, the town received 2.5 million visitors, more than double the one million people arriving in 2015.
Only three days into the 2018 New Year holiday, 42,000 tourists arrived to Sapa, again twice as many as in 2016. In particular, the number of visitors to Sapa in the first five days of the Lunar New Year reached 34,000, including 6,000 international visitors.