Vietnamese lawmakers have approved the revised Law on Housing, allowing foreign ownership of houses or apartments for 50 years, as the government seeks to boost the ailing domestic real-estate market.
>> Foreigners may own 30% of flats in Vietnam apartment building: draft regulation With a majority vote, Vietnam’s National Assembly on Tuesday approved the proposed amendments to the Law on Housing, allowing foreigners with a valid visa, as well as foreign companies and international organizations operating in Vietnam, to purchase houses and apartments. Specifically, the following three foreign subjects are now allowed to buy and own houses and apartments in Vietnam: Firstly, foreign individuals and organizations that invest in building houses under projects in Vietnam according to regulations of this law and other relevant legislation. Secondly, foreign-invested enterprises, branches and representative offices of foreign businesses, foreign investment funds, and branches of foreign banks operating in Vietnam. And thirdly, foreign individuals allowed to enter Vietnam. However, the new rules only allow foreign subjects to buy, buy on hire-purchase agreements, or own a maximum of 30 percent of the flats in any apartment building.
Regarding separate houses including villas and attached houses, foreign subjects are allowed to buy up to 250 such houses in an area with a population equal to that of a ward-level administrative unit. Foreign subjects that buy, inherit or are given houses in Vietnam will have a term of 50-year ownership over these houses, and this term, which can be renewed under a Government regulation, must be shown in their house ownership certificates. The new rules are of significance to foreigners in Vietnam, as the current laws restrict ownership to foreigners who are married to Vietnamese people and/or are deemed to have made significant contributions to the nation’s development. Commenting on the new regulations before the vote, many deputies said they will help revive the ailing domestic real estate market, contribute to the growth of the national economy, and are in line with the country’s international economic integration. According to a report released by the World Bank in July, the real estate market in Vietnam remains frozen and parts of the sector are unlikely to recover soon. In a statement released at the legislature yesterday, NA vice chairman Uong Chu Luu emphasized that expanding the criteria for foreigners to buy and own houses in Vietnam aims to create favorable conditions to draw more foreign investment.
The new rule is the latest government move to help foster the recovery of the property market following a housing stimulus program and a low-cost home loan package worth VND30 trillion (US$1.403 billion). Loans of up to VND700 million ($32,750) for a 10-year term are given to borrowers who want to build, renovate or repair houses; while loans of up to VND1.05 billion, with a term of 15 years, are offered to those who want to buy houses.