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Foreigners permitted to buy houses in Vietnam

HANOI, HCMC – Foreign organizations and individuals can now easily buy houses in Vietnam as the National Assembly (NA) on November 25 officially passed the revised Housing Law.

Under article 159 of the law, three groups of foreigners allowed to own houses in Vietnam are those developing housing projects; foreign-invested companies, branches and representative offices of foreign companies, foreign investment funds, branches of foreign banks operating in Vietnam (foreign organizations for short); and foreign individuals allowed to enter Vietnam.

Foreign organizations and individuals can own houses in Vietnam by investing in housing projects in the country; or buying, renting, inheriting apartments or houses and building houses on land lots of residential projects.
Earlier, the right to house ownership for foreigners used to be a controversial issue. When drafting the revised law, many wanted that conditions for foreigners to own houses be tightened for fear of security issues, according to Phan Trung Ly, head of the NA Law Committee.

Even when the NA voted on the law, of 404 deputies present at the meeting, 28 deputies voted against the law and four others did not cast their vote.
The new regulation is expected to make it easier for foreigners’ lives in Vietnam as well as spur recovery of the property market which has been gloomy for years.

Le Hoang Chau, chairman of the HCMC Real Estate Association, said permitting foreigners to buy houses in Vietnam can also be likened to export. Besides, it will facilitate development of many different fields and create jobs for laborers, he added.
In addition, the regulation will help boost sales of the property market and make it busier, especially on the secondary market, and will not leave a negative impact on the segment for low- and medium-income earners as feared, according to Chau.

Nguyen Vinh Tran, general director of Nam Long Investment Corporation, hailed the decision of the NA when opening the door wide for foreigners.
According to Tran, many overseas Vietnamese want to return to Vietnam to spend the rest of their lives after 30-40 years living abroad but their wishes were impeded due to procedures concerning house purchases.
Tran himself is a Vietnamese-American who has worked in Vietnam for more than ten years but still lives in a rent house. Therefore, he wishes to own a house in the coming time.
Economic expert Ho Ba Tinh said permitting foreigners to buy houses is inevitable in the country’s international integration process. The concern that foreigners will take hold of the domestic property market is groundless, Tinh added.

http://english.thesaigontimes.vn/

There is still going to be problems now unfortunately. They still haven't fully outlined the procedures, and even when they do the Provinces will still interpret the requirements and restrictions to their own satisfaction. Another problem is the overseas VK that have purchased land and houses in their wonderful relatives names will find out that all of a sudden they aren't so wonderful and will face a uphill battle in court just get it in their names before they can even start the registration process. I may add those that have paperwork that say that the relatives agree to turn the property over from years past will quickly find out that a roll of TP is about the same thing. Better have more than that to go to court with and prove it.

woohoo foreigners can buy houses but can only stay in Vietnam 6 months and than have to leave. yeah I think I'll pass.

Hi Sophie,
Yes the law has opened up the path for foreigners to buy in Vietnam but there are still many hurdles and concerns that are not answered. For example, the lease tenure of 50 years by international standards is very short. it is not being able to buy Freehold. Also the legal status of "buying" and then passing it to spouse (non foreign, or children, or others is not defined). Also as always the question of selling a property by a foreigner in future is not clearly  answered.

I am the CEO for MuaBanNhaDat.com.vn one of Vietnam's largest real estate search websites. We are monitoring this situation carefully. So far there has not been a "rush" of interest from overseas buyers to Vietnam but if the government continues to open up the laws, Vietnam could develop a "foreign buyer" sector.

All the best,
Harlow Russell

Why would anyone want to buy a ready-built house apartment on VN? Why would anyone want to bring in big money to invest in any thing in VietNam?

Land
A Land User Certificate resembles a 99-year land lease in Europe EXCEPT the party who grants the lease/User Certificate is the party who makes/changes the law. And, unless one spouse is VNese, your land rights terminate early.

Why would you want to buy a house in, say, Quan 2 or 7, where the land is sinking up to 20 centimetres annually - the land, not the River SaiGon? We are talking flooding.

A street called GO O MOI and another called PHU THUAN are having their streets raised by around 50 centimetres as the river water inundates the land almost daily, which is great for drivers, but the houses are now getting flooded as they remain on the old land!

Ever seen DONG KHOI or HA BAI TRUNG in flood? Water about 50 centimetres deep from back flowing sewers. Not just water - SaiGon River water mixed with sewage. Mmm...mmm a very special experience!

Buildings
The concrete work is barely satisfactory - skinny beams and posts (horizontals and verticals). The houses are kept 'square' by the single course of bricks inserted between the concrete elements.

Good doors and window frames (if you import them). At least you cut down on windows as they are usually only found on two sides of homes. VIet Kieu must be amazed when they immigrate and find windows on all sides of a house.

Plumbing is plain terrible (look for the cleanouts in buildings) and is usually undersized. Most houses require a pump to lift the water from ground level to the storage tank. There goes your electric bill.

I like more than one or two electrical outlets in a room - something dangerous about adapter trees and extension cords.

Bottled gas always seems a little dangerous to have in a house - I have a tank out back in the garden.

And the single layer brick wall does let the heat in BUT you can easily buy bigger, better air-con units which extract the heat and put it back outside! One day they will discover double-insulated windows and wall/roof insulation.

So I go and buy a house built by Foreign professionals. They must know how to do it? Take the V-**** building in Quan 7. Imported elevators - no authorised dealers in VN for maintenance. No problem they are flying the maintenance guy in from Singapore; Where is the garbage chute? Whoops, we forgot to put them in; Fans in the kitchens and bathrooms. That's good. Oops - no fans on the roof to maintain negative pressure on the common ducts so please excuse the smell of burnt cooking and cigarette smoke, etc. from the neighbours. On a quiet night you can even hear the neighbours talking or doing whatever in their toilets through the fans.

However, if you become your own contractor, find workers who will do it your way, you can really make a palace fit for Vogue.

But the VNese can lay marble and tile floors well and they really work hard with their feet in safety flip-flops!

My cousin has a house in Thao Dien, district 2. One time I watched him during a rain storm physically unclogged the sewage. Than got his electrical pump to pump the water out of the house into the sewage drain outside the house. He does this every rain storm.

He told me he wanted to lift the house up but wife veto. It would have cost at least $400 million dongs. Not to mention months renting out. They'd have to lift the house slowly by small amounts each every so days until they get his desired height.

khanh44 :

My cousin has a house in Thao Dien, district 2. One time I watched him during a rain storm physically unclogged the sewage. Than got his electrical pump to pump the water out of the house into the sewage drain outside the house. He does this every rain storm.

He told me he wanted to lift the house up but wife veto. It would have cost at least $400 million dongs. Not to mention months renting out. They'd have to lift the house slowly by small amounts each every so days until they get his desired height.

There is sufficient equipment - hydraulic jacks - in VN to be able to do this!

In reality it is not that complicated. There are two methods:(1) Do as the residents along NGUYEN THI NHO (P 14, Q5) when the city raised the road/sidewalks by over a metre - fill in their ground floors with crushed rock and concrete over (if you have high ceilings); (2) Take out the ground floor walls. suspend the house with I-beams under the concrete beams (cross-members). Carry the weight on the hydraulic jacks. Cut the concrete posts (verticals) then weld in new rebar, erect forms and pour the concrete and wait until dry. Lower the house on to the new extended posts, rebuild the walls; (3) Dig up the sewer pipe on the road way - insert 'flap-trap' (one-way flow device) and build a wall around the property.

7-10 days tops.

Take pity on the people unwise enough to buy in the new area of Thu Thiem - there is a reason why the new highways are two-three metres above the land where the houses are going. The water table is about 10 centimetres below ground level. Three years ago it was a swamp!

Well, all the critics are talking about owning a house in towns built over flooding areas (Saigon, Hanoi etc.). What about houses in let's say Tam Coc or Dalat ? Personally, I would not mind at all buying one in Tam Coc, a magic area close to Hanoi, so I can go to the "big town" any time I want ; and what about the expats who live in Sapa and had only one solution, renting ?

This said, I have discovered long time ago that Viet laws are vague and nobody can give you any ACCURATE details except expensive lawyers and, in addition, LOCAL authorities do practically what they want, national law or not.

Back to the O/P there is no way I am bring my hard earned money to invest in VN ,#1 too much risk that it will be lost, they will see the $$$$$$$$ change the law over night , kick me out and confiscate the goods,and what if I get married up there, who wants to disturb their family to leave for a month with uncertaintey of NOT being able to get in, sure, crack down on the tax dodgers, all countries are doing that but change the visa system so as to accommodate for retirees, most of us have had enough of work, just want to do a little volunteer work to make our selves useful    DON'T STRANGLE THE GOLDEN GOOSE we carry our own health insurance. Tourism is a great money maker, don't discourage us, especially when most of are a long term investment_- many of us have friends and family who may not have decided to come unles they have some one there to help them

Larsay:

You are absolutely right about the vagueness of Vietnam laws, which were intentionally created to "hook" your assets and you ( if needed ).  Not too many people will fall for it, especially in the internet age.  Vietnam decision makers should earnestly make the laws and procedures based on fairness and equality for the betterment of living standards of the hard working Vietnamese people.  40 years have passed and with billions of dollars from Viet Kieu and the world, the living standards in Vietnam are still rated bottom.  The government should not waste more time with "empty" devious laws, which will waste another generation of youth.

Larsay, you wrote, "LOCAL authorities do practically what they want, national law or not."  This is correct.  The National Assembly five years ago passed a law banning public smoking.  When I asked, why is smoking still allowed in restaurants all over Vietnam, the answer was, "That law isn't implemented here yet [in Nha Trang]." 

Perhaps this is connected with the former historical concept of, "Luật pháp của vua thua luật lệ của làng." [The king's laws are over-ruled by village law and practice.]

The law I prefer is the one prohibiting a foreign tourist to drive a car or a motorbike in Vietnam without a Viet driving license, which is given only to resident expats. ANYBODY can rent a motorbike ; neither the renters nor the police when they stop you ask for your license ; they know you have none !

Larsay - Yes, the police know that most foreigners do not have a VN driving licence, and for the most part do not bother us. But every now and then they have a crack down and stop all foreigners, do a licence check, and issue fines. This has happened once in Nha Trang and twice in Mui Ne/Phan Thiet in the last ten years.  I have been stopped twice for a licence check, but I do have a VN licence.

You are right about paper work. Howeve, if you choose an agent or good investor who own the area, house, apartment or any type of real estate you gonna huy, everything is fine.

It was still a draff. Just wait and see.
But, in my open view, I think it should be so

From my reading of the new law, if a foreigner buys a house with an existing fifty year year lease, the foreigner may only buy the remainder of the lease and does not get a new 50 year lease.  What happens then?  From what I can gather, there are no clear laws regarding reselling or renewing the lease.

Then let us wait for someone buy and sell the same after sometime  :)
So we know exactly what will happen, if they post here  ;)

I'm a sale executive in Foreigner sale team of Sacomreal Real Estate Joint Stock Company.
And here is some information:
First, the foreigner can own apartment, house, land in Vietnam if it is bought from a Project Investor, because the investor will prepare all documents, contract, and follow u till the time u receive the ownership certificate from the goverment (Individual till now cannot do that for the foreigner). The number of units the foreigner can buy must not exceed 30% of the total units in one apartment complex, or not exceed 250 landed property units in one particular administrative ward.
Second, the properties owned by foreigners can be sold, sub-leased, inherited and collateralized to anyone including other foreigners or Vietnamese.
Third, the ownership term for foreigners is 50 years, from the day on which the ownership cercificate is granted. They may apply to extend the term of ownership and it shall be subject to the approval of state authority. it is need to be applied 3 months in advanced of expried date.
Finally, If a foreign individual marries a Vietnamese citizen or an overseas Vietnamese, he/she qualifies for stable and long-term home ownership and has all rights of homeowner similar to Vietnamese citizens.

For more information, please do not estitate to contact me via tel. number: (+84) 982.06.01.81 (mes, zalo, viber, facebook) or email: thutrang.sacomreal[at]gmail.com; :) i'm willing to tell you more, no need to buy real estate from me. :) Make life more beautiful by make more friends

The foreigner can have ownership certificate for 50 years, and extend one time for more 50 years. Also, the foreigner can sell, sub-leased, inherited and collateralized to other foreigner and Vietnamese too.

@Tracy
What you stated above already posted by many members in various threads. Do you have something new?  :)

Ah. Really, i don't know that.

You can get the new experiences when u start to buy real estate. Otherwise, just for your reference. :)

I really got so many 'new experience' when I tried  :sosad:

Tracy Sacomreal :

You can get the new experiences when u start to buy real estate. Otherwise, just for your reference. :)

Haha...then u knew the rule in Vietnam already. Just get familiar with it and get profit from your investment.

Don't require the clearly procedure, cus this is the new law and the appling process is doing. So, just do the way like Vietnamese do. you will see it is not bad to invest in Vietnam.

Uay, why do u need to cry?  :)

Invest and get profit?  :)
Okay, then how can I take this 'profit' from Vietnam and deposit in another country bank or my own home town?

Tracy Sacomreal :

Just get familiar with it and get profit from your investment.

HSBC bank can support u to open a bank account in Vietnam? I asked from that bank already. You even can open a saving account in this bank.

Just for loan to buy real estate, they just accept if you marry with a Vietnamese.

The process is not complicated too

charmavietnam :

Invest and get profit?  :)
Okay, then how can I take this 'profit' from Vietnam and deposit in another country bank or my own home town?

Tracy Sacomreal :

Just get familiar with it and get profit from your investment.

Hey Charma,
Yogi doesn't think you'll have to worry about getting the "profit" out of here.    On these lease deals, the property will depreciate over time.

Ya see, under this socialist "system" we are meant to share our profits around........😀😀😀
Ah yes...when in Rome Charma.

But you could also have a suitcase with a frame  made of gold to travel home with. 
2.5kg approx is about $100k worth .   Gee that's carry on luggage.

But I think Tracy don't know that  :)

Yogi007 :

But you could also have a suitcase with a frame  made of gold to travel home with. 
2.5kg approx is about $100k worth .   Gee that's carry on luggage.

Yeah, not only HSBC but many other international banks also offer account opening(current/saving/Vietnam Dong and USD account), deposit for cheap interest, etc.
That's why I suggest you that you should learn more Vietnamese Laws or minimum go through the old threads posted in this forum which already we discussed :)

Tracy :

HSBC bank can support u to open a bank account in Vietnam? I asked from that bank already. You even can open a saving account in this bank.

Haizzz....

Be careful!
If you repeat this "Haizz.." again you will get banned  :)

Tracy Sacomreal :

Haizzz....

Hi. I really don't understand, i just wanna give some information which i know, and then i'm become a person who is so *** in u guys' eyes. Now i also received a warning. Wow!!! Do u feel good when u do and say sth like that?

Besides, if talking like u guys, then someone who know less, please do not write down?so, u guys can discuss together.

Hi Tracy, I appreciate that, as a real estate professional, you are posting information. We need more credible information and less opinions. There is a lot of confusion about foreign RE purchases because the laws seems vague, and it is unknown how local jurisdictions will enforce them. Unfortunately, this forum is full of skeptics and witty commenters. Don't take their negativity personally, they do it to everyone!

Can you answer this since you work in a large real estate development company: Since January, how many foreigners have purchased property under the new law? I am wondering what the response has been.

Also, who can be a "Project Investor"?  What does that mean? Only large developers selling new projects, like your company? Or can the owner of an existing, 10 year old, 4 story house qualify?
Thanks for your time!

charmavietnam :

Be careful!
If you repeat this "Haizz.." again you will get banned  :)

Tracy Sacomreal :

Haizzz....

And with  a name like 'sacom real' (ie. Sacombank Real Estate),
I wonder if she's here to share knowledge or to garner potential investors ????
And that would mean free advertising for a multi million dollar corporation.

Post edit:
I read her earlier post and my suspicions are confirmed.
Nice little commission for her if she gets just one Expat.com member in the door.

Hi Gobot,

Thank you for your question!

First, abt the number of foreigners have purchased property under the new law. Till now, have no exactly statistic number. Bcuz real estate company in Vietnam work independently and just some company start to sell for foreigner like Vingroup, Novaland, Sacomreal...
you can read more statistic number via CBRE analysis news. www.cbrevietnam.com
The bigest number recently in news is Vinhomes Central Park sold over 112 units for foreigners in HCMC on the first day sale.

Why the foreigners only can buy from the project investor now, because:
- The goverment can control the number of unit and land will be sold via project investor.
- The law is still new, and big project investor can do the document process for foreigner to take ownership certificate. If you buy from individual, then u bring documents to the notary public's office without support documents in English and Vietnamese, none can make sure that u can get ownership certificate. Maybe in the future, it can. But not now.
- the law is still applying, but if the government open to sell for foreigner, then the goverment need to change to satisfy the market.
Means in the future, u can buy from the owner of an existing or sale back to others without support, but need to wait for the goverment get familiar with the new law first.

That's why the foreigners should only buy real estate from Project investor and developer now, cus they can make sure the documents for u and support u to sale back in the future when still having some trouble need to fix in law.

Yoda just came back from a RE hunting/discovery trip in VN several weeks ago, and having stayed there for over a month in addition to another month last year.  Also spent 6 months reading/researching and in constant communication with agents remotely before the trip.

In Yoda's humble opinion ... in addition to the obvious concerns already stated in this thread (inflated prices, too many developments, title Insurance, repatriate fund after disposal of property, etc), there are way too many "flippers" in VN, and they are mainly being done by the locals.  In one opening sale of a development, there were 50 sales on the first day, and 70% are flippers.  And this is according to a trusted agent working for the same developer!  And in another development, agent working for developer (off the record) advised Yoda not to buy.  And when Yoda studied the sale contract it was not designed to be 'fair' to the buyers.  What apply to developers do not apply to buyers.  All in all Yoda has come to the conclusion of putting off for another year until things are cleared up, or bubble deflated.

And another project that has been selling for several months now one local guy bought 15 units on a single purchase in the same development!  Talk about diversification.  It's like a merry-go-around, get in and get out quickly but make sure that you are not the last one left spinning.  If Yoda was that "local" guy, Yoda wouldn't have enough mistresses to fill up those 15 units let alone other projects Yoda might have Yoda's hands on.

Take this opinion with a grain of salt.

A few posts (advertising) have been removed from this thread.

Tracy Sacomreal :

Hi Gobot,

Thank you for your question!

First, abt the number of foreigners have purchased property under the new law. Till now, have no exactly statistic number. Bcuz real estate company in Vietnam work independently and just some company start to sell for foreigner like Vingroup, Novaland, Sacomreal...
you can read more statistic number via CBRE analysis news. www.cbrevietnam.com
The bigest number recently in news is Vinhomes Central Park sold over 112 units for foreigners in HCMC on the first day sale.

Why the foreigners only can buy from the project investor now, because:
- The goverment can control the number of unit and land will be sold via project investor.
- The law is still new, and big project investor can do the document process for foreigner to take ownership certificate. If you buy from individual, then u bring documents to the notary public's office without support documents in English and Vietnamese, none can make sure that u can get ownership certificate. Maybe in the future, it can. But not now.
- the law is still applying, but if the government open to sell for foreigner, then the goverment need to change to satisfy the market.
Means in the future, u can buy from the owner of an existing or sale back to others without support, but need to wait for the goverment get familiar with the new law first.

That's why the foreigners should only buy real estate from Project investor and developer now, cus they can make sure the documents for u and support u to sale back in the future when still having some trouble need to fix in law.

Hi Tracy,
Thanks for sharing this.
Any progress on this? To purchase from individuals, one agent told me we/they need to find the 1st owner and do the documents. Not sure how true/doable is this.

Thank you

Hi Steve, I like to seek your advice about Long Term Agreement property in Vietnam. Based on your experience, do you think it is risky for foreigner to purchase LLA (SPA too hard to get, as Too many foreigners).
Because LLA is an agreement binded by developer and buyer, will the developer willing to help the owner to sell to local Vietnamese and assist new buyer to get pink book? RegArds Danny

can you pls. give me your LinkedIn.com  ID? Bests regards, LinkedIn: Michael von Brasch

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