Allowing foreigners buying houses in VN to rescue property market?

VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnam will not be able to rescue the real estate market if it only relies on the domestic resources. The government has been urged to allow foreigners to buy houses in Vietnam to increase the demand.

Vietnam, Viet Kieu, policy, houses, real estate price, FDI 

Foreign sources would help warm up real estate market

In 2008, the National Assembly released a resolution on allowing foreign individuals to buy houses in Vietnam in a 5-year trial period.

However, to date, only 500 foreigners have bought houses in Vietnam so far. Most of them are original Vietnamese with foreign nationalities. This has been attributed to too many restrictions set up by the current policies.

The subjects allowed to buy houses in Vietnam are limited. Meanwhile, they have to follow very complicated procedures to register the ownership of their houses. Especially, they can only buy houses for accommodations, not for the financial investment or other purposes.

Experts have pointed out that by setting such limitations, Vietnam has put big difficulties for itself, and that Vietnam has missed a big resource for the development of the real estate market.

Dr. Tran Minh Hoang, President of the Vietnam Real Estate JSC, said real estate is a kind of valuable asset, therefore, people’s ownership and their asset determination right should be protected by the laws. This would be an important factor people would consider when making investment decisions.

Satmad Zok, a foreign businessman who has been living and working in Vietnam for 8 years, said he is still reluctant to buy a house in Vietnam.

“If referring to the current laws, I have the conditions to possess an apartment. However, I know it’s very complicated to buy and register the ownership of properties. Vietnamese also find it difficult to buy houses, let alone foreigners,” he said.

Deputy Minister of Construction Nguyen Tran Nam has also admitted that the policy on allowing foreigners buying houses in Vietnam has not been “brought into life” because of the limitations.

“In the world of integration, while Vietnamese people can buy houses in foreign countries, foreigners cannot buy houses in Vietnam,” Nam said.

What will happen next?

The Resolution No. 19 with the 5-year prescription on allowing foreigners buying houses in Vietnam in the trial period would end in 2013. What will come after 2013, then?

Sources have said that the government has instructed the Ministry of Construction to review the implementation of the pilot policy, while planning to submit to the National Assembly a new policy, under which Vietnam would widen the subjects to be eligible for buying houses in Vietnam.

The Ministry of Construction’s principle is that Vietnam should allow not only the foreigners who work and do business in Vietnam, but also the foreigners who have demand for houses, to buy real estate products in Vietnam. Especially, the foreigners would be driven to the high end housing projects.

The ministry’s standpoint has been advocated by economists. Dr. Vo Dai Luoc, who was the Head of the economics and politics institute, said opening the real estate market to foreign buyers would be a good solution that can help rescue the real estate market.

Bui Kien Thanh, a well-known economist, also said that Vietnam should not worry about the problems to be arisen when allowing foreigners buying houses in Vietnam.

“We will have the legal regulations and required procedures to control the real estate market,” Thanh said.

Phong Vu

Vietnam, Viet Kieu, policy, houses, real estate price, FDI