After years of developing into a dynamic metropolis, Saigon became one of the best cities to live and work in around the world. More and more foreigners come to Saigon for work and up staying here for months or even years. Expat and nomad communities in the city are flourishing with their own unique culture. This means that both the demand and supply of house rentals in Saigon are increasing too.
Among the 24 districts in Saigon, there are six districts with a high concentration of foreigners. The range in rental cost and facilities vary in every district. I will give you a clear view of house rentals in Saigon in this article.
Overview of House Rentals in Saigon
Studios, apartments, houses, and villas are available for you to rent. Most of these options are fully furnished. The quantity and modernity of the furniture factors into the rental cost. You can rent a whole studio or apartment for your privacy. Otherwise, renting a room in an apartment or a house, and sharing the living room, bathroom, or kitchen will save you some money.
The rental cost usually includes wifi, electricity, and water bills. However, some places don’t include these bills. So you should check with the house owner to make sure whether there are any extra costs. If you rent a serviced room, cleaning and laundry services are included in the rental cost. These services usually happen one to three times per week. Moreover, you need to leave one or two months of rental cost as a deposit in the first month of renting.
District 1 – The Magnificent Center
As the center of Saigon, District 1 (D1) has thousands of offices located in tall and modern buildings. Tourist attractions with soaring ancient architecture are located in D1 too. All the best coffee shops, restaurants, bars, and entertainment places gather waiting for you to discover them. Because of this, many foreigners choose to live in D1. It is especially recommended for newcomers because most places are within reach by walking. However, D1 is expensive. Every product and service in D1 is far more expensive than in other districts.
D1 is divided into two main parts, based on foreigner allocation. Ben Thanh and Ben Nghe wards are home to modern buildings, luxury shopping malls, offices, and tourist attractions. That’s why you will see many foreigners here. Local people in these areas also speak good English. But, the house rental cost in these two wards is the most expensive in Saigon.
Other wards of D1 are mainly home to local people. There are foreigners here too, but not as many as in Ben Thanh and Ben Nghe wards. You will have more chances to interact with local people and experience the lifestyle of the Vietnamese. As a result, the house rental cost is lower.
I will give you approximate numbers of the minimum and maximum rental cost in D1, so you can choose which best suits your budget. However, these are approximate numbers, so the real cost may be a little bit different. The minimum rental cost is around 230 USD for a room in Cau Ong Lanh ward. The room will be fully furnished, have a shared kitchen, living room, and bathroom. The cost includes all bills except the electricity bill. The maximum cost for a luxury stay is 6,000 USD for a villa on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai street. It will have two floors with five bedrooms, six bathrooms, a living room, kitchen, garage, and swimming pool. The villa is fully furnished as well.
District 2 – The New Urban Area for Westerners
Separated by Thu Thiem tunnel, District 2 (D2) is next to D1. In the past, D2 was underdeveloped, surrounded by dense trees, and it had a sparse population. Nowadays, a series of condos, villas, and modern highways have been built in D2, which has made this district into a new urban area in Saigon. Not only that, the traffic in D2 is far less and not crowded like in other districts.
The developed areas in D2 are Thao Dien, An Phu – An Khanh, and Thu Thiem. These areas are near Thu Thiem tunnels and Saigon bridge which connects D2 with D1 and Binh Thanh district successively. Thao Dien is the first developed area in D2, so international schools, restaurants, shopping malls, and other services are mainly located here. D2 is considered to be home to many Western expats in Saigon. With many utilities above, the rental cost in D2 is quite expensive but still reasonable.
Other areas in D2 have not developed as much as the three areas above because they are far away from the center. Many local people stay here, the apartments are mid-range expensive, and not many services are available for foreigners.
The minimum cost will be 250 USD for a room in a shared four-bedroom apartment in Thao Dien. The apartment typically has 24/7 security, a private parking lot, swimming pool, and other utilities in the compound. The expenses and bills are shared between housemates. The maximum cost should be around 8000 USD for a luxury hilltop villa in Thao Dien gated compound. It will be fitted with seven bedrooms, eight bathrooms with a karaoke room, hair- beauty treatment room, office room, maid room, dance floor, and swimming pool.
District 7 – The Capital of Korea
Located to the south of D1, District 7 (D7) is quite similar to D2 in its history of development. Phu My Hung and areas situated along Nguyen Van Linh and Nguyen Huu Tho street are the most modern in D7. Condos, villas, international schools, restaurants, shopping malls, and more are all available here. D7 is well known for its prominent Korean communities, so many Korean restaurants and products are found here too.
Many big companies have offices in D7, so it’s really convenient for you to live near your company. However, if you work in D1, you need to pass District 4 to get to D1 and traffic jams usually happen in peak hours.
Other areas are well-developed as well, but more local people live there. They are far away from the center and not on the main roads. The rental cost, therefore, is lower than in the more modern areas.
The minimum cost is 215 USD for a room in a shared house near Lotte Mart. The house will have a huge rooftop area and the cost includes housekeepers and laundry services. The maximum cost can go up to 5,000 USD, however, for a beautiful house on Nguyen Thi Thap residential area. It will have three floors, a basement, nine bedrooms, kitchen, dining room, and living room all fully furnished.
District 3 – Local Life in the Center
Many offices are located in District 3 (D3), especially in the areas next to D1. The rental cost in these areas is more expensive than the remaining areas. In general, D3 is mainly a local area and not many foreigners live here, so the rental cost is lower than the districts above. You can experience local life and make friend with more local people here.
The minimum cost is 190 USD for a room in a shared house. The room will have a private bathroom and it should be completely furnished as well. Bills are shared among housemates. The maximum cost can reach up to 25,000 USD for a villa on Tu Xuong street. It will have three stories, a terrace with 14 bedrooms, nine bathrooms, working room, dining room, one empty room, kitchen, and furniture.
Binh Thanh and Phu Nhuan District – Home to English Teachers
Binh Thanh and Phu Nhuan District are famous for its huge quantity of English centers. Many foreigner teachers work and live here. The population of these districts is mainly local people and the location is far away from D1. Therefore, the rental cost is quite low in these areas. There are still many restaurants and shopping malls, so you can fully enjoy a nice life here.
There is only one area in Binh Thanh District that is different than other areas. This is ward 22 where Vinhomes Central Park, Saigon Pearl, The Manor, and all high-end apartments in Saigon are located. This area is next to D1 and it takes about five to ten minutes to get to D1. Thus, the rental cost in this area is more expensive but you will experience the high-end living standard here.
The minimum cost is 150 USD for a room in a shared apartment with full furniture. The maximum cost is 8000 USD for a penthouse in Cantavil Hoan Cau building. It will have two stories and a terrace with four bedrooms, four bathrooms, two living rooms, one kitchen, and full furniture.
District 4 – The Emerging Area Near the Center
District 4 (D4) used to be home to less well-off people and criminals. However, that was the past and now D4 is turning into a fast-growing district. The boundary of D1 and D4 is Ben Nghe canal, which was renovated into a clean and beautiful canal with pavement, benches, and trees for shade. Luxury apartments have been built along the canal and areas nearby. Many foreigners also move to D4 to settle down because of the nice apartments and convenient location.
More and more entertainment places have opened here as well which should keep you entertained after a long week of work. D4 is also famous for its street food in local areas. You can both enjoy delicious street foods and interact with more local people. Today, D4 actually has a friendly environment for foreigners. The rental cost in this area is lower than D1 but quite expensive compared to other districts. If you want a lower rental cost, the wards far away from D1 are your best options.
The minimum cost is 220 USD for a room in a shared apartment. It will be fully furnished and the bills are shared among your housemates. The maximum cost is 4,000 USD for a house on Ben Van Don street. It will have one basement and five floors with full furniture.
Recommended Websites and Accommodations
Through the detailed information above, you can easily make the right decision on which district and kind of house you want to settle down in. Here is the Facebook group of expats & locals in Saigon. There is a lot of useful information for newcomers. Housing/Apartments for rent in Saigon – Vietnam and Housing Solutions for Expats – Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) are two Facebook groups for house rentals that you should have a look at. Next, Saigonlease and Vnrental are recommended websites. In addition, Rever, Savills or Cbre are prestigious real estate agents in Vietnam.
I can also recommend one more option. Christina’s has all kinds of accommodations for rent, including room, studio, apartment, house, and villa. The high-quality furniture, well-decorated interior, warm welcome and professional service provided by the team members make for an extremely pleasant stay. Have a look and find your favorite rental house on our website.
Tips and Questions When Viewing a New Home
Some Pro Tips about housing for new settlers in Saigon:
- Take photos of the accommodation with a grain of salt. Always check the place on-site before making the decision.
- At the place, make sure all of the household equipment is working properly, especially the air conditioner.
- When checking the place, also have a walk around the area to know the neighborhood, nearby shops, supermarkets and most important, are you going to be fine and safe there?
- Head for short-term lease at first, around three to six months, as you will have more time to learn about the city and find your favorite location for a longer term stay.
- Is the electricity included in the rent or not? And is the rental fee feasible for you if the electricity is not included. Note that the most expensive bill in Saigon is the electricity bill (up to 50 US dollars a month).
And to be even more certain, have this questionnaire with you when seeing the place and interview the owner or housemates:
- What is included in the rent?
- What should you pay on your own?
- On average, how much is the electricity bill per month?
- Can the bedroom be locked? How do I secure the windows? Can I get spare keys or where I can make extra for myself?
- How is the cleaning taken care of?
- How can I do my laundry?
- How safe and secure are the house, the room, and the neighborhood?
- Where is the closest supermarket, apart from convenience stores?
- How long have the house/the accommodation been available? How long have the housemates lived here?
- How is the deposit handled, is it possible to get it back when I move out?
After reading this article, you should be able to take Saigon by storm! Keep reading other articles on our blog to fully prepare for your long-term stay in Saigon.
If you enjoyed reading this article and would like some more fun info about what to see, do and eat (and a bunch of interesting cafes!) in Vietnam, follow us at the Christina’s Blog!