The smart home trend that has lately penetrated into Vietnam can be explained by factors such as rapid urbanization and the boom of megacities.

It has also been accelerated by the technological sophistication of consumers. Vietnam leads the world in the growth of smartphone traffic and the rise of millennials and their growing tech-savviness will boost user preference for technology.

Millennials, who tend to be early adopters of new technology, are also the most likely demographic to be interested in smart apartments. Others, such as seniors who live alone, could also find uses for smart technology to improve their lives, such as a smart stove alarm or a medication reminder and daily to-do list.

However, smart home technology in Vietnam is still in its infancy. JLL has recorded five projects launched that applied smart home tech in their apartment products. Most were new developments or still under construction, with those conducting a soft launch including the Alpha King Real Estate Development JSC’s Alpha City Apartment and Centennial and Dreamhouse’s D-Vela.

Therefore, more support from the government is needed to foster the startup culture, making it easier for companies to enter the smart tech market. As more competition enters the market, prices will decrease and the smart home concept will become more accessible. For homes to get truly smart there is a need for wider and better-quality network connectivity in Vietnam.

Mr. Stephen Wyatt, Country Head of JLL Vietnam, said that as the concept of smart homes becomes more widespread, rising interest could encourage more mainstream developers to incorporate smart technology in their new projects. “Although the demand is there, there is one big obstacle to developing smart apartments: the cost,” he added. “Before smart home use becomes mainstream, we believe that the high-end of the market will be where smart home tech grows out from. Small apartments targeted to young families will be another trend in the new supply of smart homes.”

While there is only a very small number of smart apartments being built at present, it is a good way for smaller or newer developers to compete. Developers in Vietnam must put more effort into making smart apartments truly smart, not just use it as a marketing buzzword. They must adapt and catch up with new trends so as not to be left behind by other markets in the region.