Kevin over at SaigonNezumi.com often posts about the constant construction around his house in a hẻm (lane) on the other side of the Phu Nhuan District from where I live. He is usually concerned about the dust, mud, and noise brought into his house by the nearby construction, not to mention the holes that have been knocked into his walls from the house construction next door.
Constant construction seems to the normal condition of all neighborhoods in Ho Chi Minh City today. It is a mark of the vitality and upward economy of the country that everyone who owns a house is usually in a position at this time to remodel their house, add a floor, redo the plumbing, replace a roof, add a terrace trellis, or tear down a small house and build a taller house in its place. It may be [I have no means at this time to substantiate this] that people would rather improve the land plot handed down to them by their ancestors within the city than relocate to the new urban areas. The local newspapers keep stating that the real estate market for existing homes is stagnant, and it very well may be (judging from the many nhà bán (house for sale) signs I see around), but this is definitely not restraining the urge to improve one's residential property.
Everyday, I hear hammering, sawing, and machinery sounds entering my home office, but I have learned to tune them out. And certainly I do love construction anyway. Here is a current sampling (all photos taken from my roof terrace) of the visible construction going on around my house (nonvisible meaning interior work that I can hear but not see):
Although it is a few kilometers away downtown, it has been interesting to watch this new TV tower under construction off in the distance:
The tower is only half-way up so far.
Certainly the construction industry in Vietnam is thriving -- for both large companies and the small neighborhood companies working on the projects in the hẻm.