Life made easier for foreign homebuyers

The Ministry of Construction will relax regulations to make it easier for foreigners and overseas Vietnamese to buy homes in Việt Nam, said Deputy Minister of Construction Nguyễn Trần Nam.

A representative of a realty firm speaks at the conference on Thursday

He was speaking at a review conference in Hồ Chí Minh City (HCMC) on Thursday 16/5 on implementation of the Housing Law, the Property Trading Law and Resolution 19/2008/QH12 of the National Assembly.

The number of foreigners and overseas Vietnamese owning homes in Việt Nam has risen since the Housing Law and the policy for foreign organizations and individuals to buy houses in Vietnam were adopted.

Statistics of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment show that 489 houses and apartments are possessed by foreign individuals (106 units) and overseas Vietnamese (383 units).

Sixteen cities and provinces have granted foreigners and overseas Vietnamese land use right and home ownership certificates.

Foreign homeowners in Việt Nam are from various countries and territories including the U.S., China, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Germany, Cuba and Taiwan.

However, the number of foreigners and overseas Vietnamese owning homes in Việt Nam is still limited because of stringent regulations, according to the Housing and Real Estate Market Management Department under the construction ministry.

“Just 106 foreign home owners in Việt Nam is a really modest number as more than 80,000 foreigners are currently living and working in Việt Nam,” said Đào Trung Chính, deputy head of the General Department of Land Administration under the environment ministry.

To buy a home in Việt Nam, foreign individuals must have permission from competent agencies for residing in Việt Nam for one year or more and are not entitled to privileges.

As for enterprises, they must have investment certificates or equivalent papers granted by State agencies.

In fact, since the country opened the door to foreign investors, foreigners have indirectly possessed land in Việt Nam.

For example, foreign investors are allowed to acquire a 49% stake in a company holding real estate, meaning they have indirect ownership of it.

Nguyễn Văn Danh, deputy director of the HCMC Department of Construction, remarked requirements on the conditions for overseas Vietnamese and foreign organizations and individuals to possess homes in Việt Nam are rigid and complicated.

The construction ministry promised to relax regulations, allowing overseas Vietnamese to receive land use rights to build houses in Việt Nam.

As for foreign individuals and organizations, home ownership conditions can be eased.

The ministry proposed amending the Property Trading Law, allowing foreign-invested enterprises to rent real estate for sublease and to purchase office space.

Source: The Saigon Times

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