How do you invest in Vietnam real estate?

I think that's so difficult for foreigners to buy or invest in real estate in Vietnam. Just need some advises and want to know your experience. Please give me some ideas.. :heart:

Don't!!!! The is not like you home country. The process is so filled with land mines. One there is no common law here like in much of the world. There is no law of contracts. There is not court to go and settle contractual disputes. And any body you go before here is for sale to the highest bidder. There is no ability to do title searches as in your country, Thus there is no ability to buy title insurance. Real estate prices are so inflated here that the last guy in is going to get burned. You hail from the country with the best environment to invest in real estate and you want to take a crap shoot on investing here while staying on your perpetually extended visa? Hope you think long and hard before you take the plunge. Yes, there will be many who chime in and espouse the great benefits of investing here. But you always must look at your real rate of return on any investment ( in RE we measure it by cap rate) and factor in inflation. No bargains here my friend. Then the infrastructure you get for your investment????? Potable water, firehouse nearby, etc etc

Yah, thank you so much..I think I'll need to consider carefully...

Be very careful, lots of fake documents floating around. If you are really set on buying have a local you can trust to help, a big emphasis on the word trust.

If their lips are moving their lying comes to mind. Your a mark and they are going to fleece you. Bring plenty of Vasoline, because bend over here it comes again.

Stacy123 :

I think that's so difficult for foreigners to buy or invest in real estate in Vietnam. Just need some advises and want to know your experience. Please give me some ideas.. :heart:

as Diazo said: don't.
The time where real estate in VN has a high return is over for quite a while. In the recent years the reale state market of Vietnam is quiet. Years ago, it was a busy market, people buy and sell. Or it was even like flipping, because you don't have to wait that long before you can sell for big profit. I know that from my relatives. Today it is still not too hard to find a real estate to buy if you want to park your money longterm with low risk of losing value by inflation. For some areas it is quite certain that the value won't decrease, but it also doesn't increase crazily like before. Another problem is that at this time hardly anyone sells "the good stuff", most people are waiting for the market to get busy again. Rich vietnameses even tends to buy property in european countries and america now. It's a way to lower the risk, if shit hits the fan in vietnam somehow.

Diazo is almost right by saying that you can be easily scammed, but I don't think it is that bad, if you know what to do and what not. I mean vietnamese people do conclude real estate business and they don't need to bring guns or hire the mafia as bystander. You have to be careful, but it's not lawless.

My ex-gf did litigation for one of the bigger banks. She said cheating is rife in VN. People get copies of red books and sell the same property to several people. Not having a national computer system for the buying and selling of property creates a system thats easy to manipulate.

  Very true I have witnessed this myself. There are people selling property they do not even own. or renting it out and it is not theirs to rent. The owner is living abroad and has no clue someone has rented hsi house out. I have a neighbor who has such a situation.
And to NoPinky it is true if you go very carefully you too can be the proud owner of property here. But the OP seems to state she is relatively new to VN and is asking questions her on the forum. So perhaps she is not so adroit to be able to know the pitfalls until she learns more. Her bio says she hails from America, which is one of the best RE investment places in the world. In my opinion she would be better off investing in her own country, even outside the RE arena. Here for example I can invest a 1/2 million dollars in a home and rent it for $500 a month perhaps. Yet in the USA I can buy a $180,000 property and rent it for $1,800  a month. Plus I get the tax advantage of owning investment property. But you can deduct the investment property owned here if you are an American. So really that would be a push.
I think the OP has tired of this subject and moved on though. Thanks for the conversation though. There certainly was a time, especially after one was able to won property here that it was a no brainer. But the real estate market is ever changing going from bubble to bust. Here they may very well be in a bubble at the moment.

I have been working in real estate area and would like to share some good tips to buy the property. I am from UK but interested in investing property in HCM.  I am in the process of buying one.  It is very true that there are lot of cowboys here.  But if you find the trustworthy international estate agencies; they could provide a very good advice. International estate agencies would not like to ruin their reputation by doing thing wrong.  Do not go for some small real estate agency.  Furthermore, they do not mark up the property price if your desired property  is a new built.  You can email me I can send you some information about buying property.  I am not selling anything here. Charlotte

In real estate they talk about Location & Timing.     Get those right and you'll do well.

Yogi was sitting on his balcony the other day cutting his toenails, while enjoying the ocean views here in Nha Trang.

He happened to notice in that view an aircraft carrier sailing past on its way to Pyongyang.  Beyond that aircraft carrier Yogi can see ( on a clear day) while standing on his tippy toes a group of islands ( the Spratleys) about 280 miles due east of Nha Trang.  Apparently a group of chinamen have built a military base there, which the Vietnam guys don't like the idea of. 😬

The " Donald" can't wait to play with his new toys . The first first bomb he dropped was the biggest one he could find.  😳

The Chinese have threatened to meet fire with fire

The guy in Pyongyang Nth Korea is threatening to Nuke the whole region .

The Philippine president is threatening to eat people alive 😳😳😳he hates the yanks and the expats are getting nervous.

The market in Malaysia is down 35%.

Cambodia's market is ratshit.

Very hard to sell anything in Thailand at the moment.  The "junta" has everyone spooked.

Even back home in Australia , Perth is tanking,  Brisbane the same... $700k apartments now asking $520.   And worse to come.

So kiddies.......who wants to buy something at the moment.     Personally , Yogi thinks it's better to keep your powder dry and in safe haven investments.    This whole region could be in for a shake up very soon.  The economy here is slowing as well. 

TIming & Location..........neither is good at the moment.

I think it depends on what you are buying. If you're not looking for expat-type proprieties, it's not too bad. I've bought a sold quite a few homes with no problems. It also depends on what you mean by "invest". Flipping homes can be done (I've done it) but there isn't huge amounts of money in it. If you're looking for commercial property for investment, that's a different story.

Be very careful, lots of fake documents floating around. If you are really set on buying have a local you can trust to help, a big emphasis on the word trust.


How about a local being the wife ?  :D   :lol:

Bring plenty of Vasoline, because bend over here it comes again.

:lol:   :lol:   :lol:

is this allowed on the forum  :lol:

jazzy851 :

Be very careful, lots of fake documents floating around. If you are really set on buying have a local you can trust to help, a big emphasis on the word trust.


How about a local being the wife ?  :D   :lol:

If you trust her, yes.

The market is slowing in HCM city, yes, it is true.  It affects mostly and purely to local buyers.  They can choose any region to buy (not like foreigners, it has specific zone or District or ward).  Therefore,  the buoyancy of the property market affects great deal to local, market price is going up and down. I am only focusing on foreigners here.  For foreigners, in terms of investment , I suggest targeting only for long term (4 years or over, wait for metro is completed) or just buy for living , there is not a big effect to this 'foreigners' group.  As I mentioned before, foreigners (including myself) is confined to only buying from Developers - rules are clear to us and we are entitled to the same protection and right as the local.  As long as you get the Sales & Purchase Agreement, you are safe.  My contribution here is only on 'Foreigners' and for long term vision and not for flipping.  If you are local, yes, the price is going down.  I saw that.  Hope it helps.

Buy on fact,sell on rumour. … -minh-city

Foreigners are currently facing problems gaining title from the Land Registration Office after purchasing real estate, even under the new ownership laws. … minh-city/

I think that honestly, if you have to ask the question here, you will lose money.

As almost everyone has said above, the process is full of potholes and unknowns.
My GF who has owned an apt in HCMC for the last 5 years, h=now has "issues' related to who knows what.

I love the Vietnamese, but they have a bureaucracy that is not at all transparent, in fact, just the opposite.   Just look at virtually any question here dealing with the law, immigration, visas, etc.   Even driving.  There is never just one answer.

Isan't that true. Just when you think you have it all figured out the sun comes up and it has all changed. My head spins with confusion. Ask a local, ask your wife and they to probably have no clue. Never been in a country where you just can never seem to nail anything down.
   Had an expat friend who bought a hefty chunk of land to develope. Got several houses about half way built. Hanoi came down in them and poof can do no more on the land. Know of another development that was top notch. They put in all the streets and curbs, underground sewers and utility. Built about a dozen homes and the gov't put the breaks on.
  To make matters worse there is no way to address contract disputes in a legal way that take for granted in common law.
   I do not know what they think when you set down and negotiate an agreement. It seems it is just for idol chit chat. Because once the ink is dry it is meaningless to them.
  And people really want to invest. The casinos are a better bet. I have heard of expats again say they have done well..But I often wonder what " well" means to them.

It's sort of like fishing, the catch was always bigger than reality.

Now in the Vietnamese defense, I have been in countries that are similar, they just hide it better.
Also there are places were in a contract dispute you will just disappear. We don't hear about those cases.

The question I would ask any foreigner is, if it's such a good deal,why do you think the locals don't know about it???

There are two possible responses:
1. I am smarter than them. (Good luck with that)
2. They don't have the money I have. (Yes, maybe more 99% true, but what about that last 1%, which bring us back to response #1)

I have been in Europe on and offer for 40 years.  The same pitfalls exist. The same scams exist. They'll stop construction, you'll pay taxes that don't seem to exist for others.

Westerner's just have too much hubris at times.

Stay away from investing in real estate as a foreigner. Everything will be a 50-year lease for all foreigners. You will not have the same ownership rights as a local, period.

Locals can (and do) go to court to settle contractual disputes all of the time. They can also purchase land without a lease. However, the deed to their land will have an expiration date (30+ years or so). They just need fill out paperwork and pick up the new deed when it is available (~ 1 week).

Your explanation seems contradictory. You say foreigners can not have freehold ownership of the land beneath their house. Then you go onto say but locals and renew their leasehold every 30 years or so. There are only two types of ownership of the land on which property is built, freehold or leasehold. Both your explanations describe leasehold.
  Could you provide the court in which contractual disputes can be resolved? In addition, under what form of contract law are the contracts written?

Locals have freehold ownership. They pay for the property once and renew the paperwork every few decades or so - if they choose.

Mind you, their land isn't lost or repossesed by the government if they don't renew the deed. They will just be unable to use it as collateral (loans from the bank) or sell the property until the deed is renewed.

The fee to renew the deed is in the form of a property tax. The property tax varies by land size but it boils down to what the locals are willing to declare.

For example: If a local owns a piece of land worth 500M VND, they will declare its value at 100M VND or even 50M VND and pay a property tax of 1-2M VND.

No local ever declares the correct value as:
1) there are no consequences (good or bad)
2) the tax money goes straight into the pockets of the corrupt government workers

You go the court in your local area (commune, township, ward, etc) and submit your complaint/paperwork and wait for a court date.

All contracts must be notarized by a government official (not public).

That is not freehold that you describe my friend. Freehold means you own it. You have to do nothing. It will be yours or your heirs forever. All locals have is leasehold. They must go renew it.
The "Court" process you speak of is just as I thought. You go to the Peoples Committee for your area and it is decided there. Not by legal scholars or Judges. There is no Common Law process in Vietnam. This is the very reason companies do not want to do business here. There is no concrete way to be protected by contract law. More likely than not the one who prevails will go to the highest bidder. Moreover, there is no avenue for appeal.
Very shaky ground here when you do business of any kind. I am sure you are aware of many property owners that have Hanoi show up and say "oh we have a better use for this property now" and then your out.
  But in reality, although we have freehold ownership in the West, see who owns it if you fail to pay your property taxes.
  My word, you live in America and want to invest in property here!! Go carefully my friend. You probably live in one of the best places in the world to invest in RE, and you come here to invest. Make sure your know your exit strategy if you do invest here. This is not a noble society like America. Property can stay on the market for a long long time. You can not do a tile search here nor can you get a title policy.

Best and most intelligent answer so far!

Diazo :

That is not freehold that you describe my friend. Freehold means you own it. You have to do nothing. It will be yours or your heirs forever. All locals have is leasehold.

No, that's exactly what freehold means. Your definition freehold, i.e., do absolutely nothing and own it forever does not exist in the Western world.

Diazo :

They must go renew it.

I couldn't have explained this any clearer in the second paragraph of my previous post. They don't need to do anything unless they plan on taking out a loan from the bank or sell the property.

You seem to be under the assumption that their heirs will lose the land because of an expired deed - this is not the case. The heirs will be issued a new deed by the local courts.

Diazo :

I am sure you are aware of many property owners that have Hanoi show up and say "oh we have a better use for this property now" and then your out.

In the U.S., we call this eminent domain. My aunt in Saigon was also hit with such a notice in Saigon a few years back and they paid her slightly above current market price for her land.

Diazo :

But in reality, although we have freehold ownership in the West, see who owns it if you fail to pay your property taxes.

If we're still going by your definition, then freehold ownership does not exist in the West, my friend.

Diazo :

My word, you live in America and want to invest in property here!! Go carefully my friend. You probably live in one of the best places in the world to invest in RE, and you come here to invest. Make sure your know your exit strategy if you do invest here.

The only RE worth investing in America is in REITs.  I'm not going buy fixer uppers and rent them out or hold a piece of property in a developed nation like America while paying property taxes annually on vacant land. Not worth my time or effort. Don't need an exit strategy - I could have retired at 24 when the start up I co-founded was sold in 2014 but I love my job. My condo in SF's Financial District is already going to push me to the limits of my FEIE for next year. It wasn't purchased as an investment, I'm just renting it out because I just moved here for work (1-2 years) a few weeks ago.

I had my wife purchase some land in Vietnam about 6 months ago that we have flipped for no less than 25-35% profit and no taxes. 5M VND tip to the people who brought us buyers and the 1M VND for expedited paper work and notarization - couldn't have been easier or quicker. Best of all, the money can be transferred out of Vietnam to the U.S. This is just a quaternary source of income - we used some of it to build a house in Saigon and are keeping the rest for vacation and more flipping.

Like I said before, stay away from investing in real estate as a foreigner. Locals don't have any problems flipping property - your (foreign) problems don't apply to them.


In Common law jurisdictions (e.g. England and Wales, United States, Australia,[1] Canada and Ireland) a freehold is the common ownership of real property, or land,[2] and all immovable structures attached to such land, as opposed to a leasehold in which the property reverts to the owner of the land after the lease period has expired.[3] Immovable property includes land and all that naturally goes with it, such as buildings, trees or underground resources, but not such things as vehicles or livestock.

For an estate to be a freehold it must possess two qualities: immobility (property must be land or some interest issuing out of or annexed to land), and ownership of it must be of an indeterminate duration. If the time of ownership can be fixed and determined, it cannot be a freehold.

Before the Law of Property Act 1925, a freehold estate transferable to the owner's "heirs and assigns" (that is, successors by inheritance, or purchase [including gift], respectively), was a fee simple estate. When transfer, by inheritance or otherwise, was limited to lineal descendants ("heirs of the body" or "heirs of the blood") of the first person to whom the estate was given, it was a fee tail estate. There were also freehold estates not of inheritance, such as an estate for life.

Cool, you can quote Wikipedia like an armchair lawyer. But can you read like one?  :)

Nowhere does it say or mention anything along the lines of  "you have to do nothing. It will be yours or your heirs forever..." You still gotta do stuff (pay taxes) in America to keep your land, unlike Vietnam.

Not paying the property tax (every 50 years) in Vietnam means you are unable to:
1. use the deed as collateral
2. are unable to sell it

Not paying the annual property tax in America means you'll be out on the street before long. If paying property tax and renewing a deed once every half century qualifies as doing something then what does paying property tax every year in America qualify as?

Last post for me btw, feels like I keep having to repeat myself. You can lead a horse to water...

Diazo and Kupo, 

Thanks for the discussion.  You are both saying essentially the same thing,  just arguing over semantics.

And again,  there are many,  many countries in which foreigners can not own land.

The big problem I see in my limited time here in Vietnam is the attitude that foreigners can afford to lose money,  because they have so much.
Thus even in a fair dispute,  the odds are again you since whatever loss you incur will be considered small.

And in thier eyes,  i understand that mentality.

Lastly,  if by some odd miracle you make a profit,  I'd like to see how you get it out of the country.

   Agree, the conversation greatly degenerated.  My point was intended to Risk as opposed to return. I imagine there are many places in the world where you can buy many things and think you shall get a great return. The thing I was trying to get across to the OP is the inherent risk here. And there are many.

"Risk" implies the possibility of gain.

I don't think that possibility even exists.
Might as well play Three Card Monte on the street.

Seems like this is quite a  risk for those who wish to invest in property VN :unsure

Oh if you only knew the nightmare stories. And Three Card Monte would be far less risky. My neighbor down the street owns a home here and moved to the USA. The house had been rented out for ever. Then one day it was sold. Then the owner came back to check out his property, and learned it had not only been rented but sold to some unsuspecting soul.
  Just imagine how easy it is here to get a bogus visa, Temporary resident card etc. The red book is far easier to forge.
  And yes there are those on here who say it is the greatest think ince sliced bread with huge returns. One huge is relative. There is one fella on this thread who claims to have bought land and sold it quickly for a 25-35% profit. I found it rather odd that this long after the sale he still only knows a range of profit he made. I think most people could take the price bought and the price sold and quickly come up with the exact profit.
  But with the risk you take here the return should be HUGE. I have looked at many condos. These folks build them, sell them with great promises, they look nice when they are knew. But no one takes care of the common areas, and the places fall into disrepair quickly. Then you are left with what 20 years down the road. We have a  company here selling units with a guarantee that in 10 years they will buy it back for what you paid for it. Nothing says they will still be in business in 10 years. My word I can not even get a simple contract adhered to.
Bought a membership in a golf course with promises of this and that. Once inked the all went away and now it is just a perpetual fight.

Thanks for your comments Diazo.  :top:
Seems like its best to avoid the headache and uncertainty.  :cheers:

Theres other ways to make huge rewards  :)

There is always a correlation between risk and reward. The lowest risk being putting your money under your mattress. But that too has risk. Then you can go to the other end of the spectrum and invest in , say, junk bonds, or land speculation. You have a chance at a bigger return ,but you could end up with goose eggs (zero) or much less then you paid.
  Of course, the worst would be to buy land here from a seller that does not even own the property. And it happens often. In my country you can do due diligence and title searches etc. and eliminate that risk completely. Here you have the potential risk of that all the time because you can not do title searches or get title insurance. Here the husband could sell  the property that was the product of a marriage for example, and leave the wife out in the cold to later make a claim on the property. Whereas in my country the title search will show the spouse, and they will not issue a title policy until you show them the divorce decree and the settlement of the joint property.
We take all this for granted in America and things are quite safe. Here in VN the ownership of property is in it's infancy. I am sure it will grow and improve and they will develop safeguards.
  Now there you go for a business idea: start a title insurance company, and deed research. Uphill battle though. Just think of all the property research that would need to be done just to show the original owners and the history since.
  In America we can get a title search that will show ownership back to at least the slave days in America and before. I once bought a property there and there was a covenant on the deed that precluded black to ever occupy the land or own it. Quite interesting to read some of these old deeds.

Hi guys, I'm new here, nice to meet you. The discussion is very interesting to me. As a local, I will tell you a secret: We are not allowed to own our land too.

By law, all land belongs to the government, they will allow us the right to use it in a certain amount of time, they can give us more time later when it's expired. But the most fantastic thing is: they can take it back anytime they want because they are the real owners, not you or me.

So, invest in land in Vietnam is really risky, except you have good relationship with the government and by some miracle way you can keep your land forever.

But we are allowed to fully own our apartments, so apartments are real properties, land is not. When they want to take back the land where your apartment is standing on, they'll have to buy your apartment. Sometime the price is super lower than the market price, that's why sometime people have to strike back the government for getting a better price (striking back the Communist Vietnamese government is totally illegal and you can go to jail by doing so), but it most cases it's acceptable.

I hope Kupo can read and understand you [at] chauhuoung0909. He has great difficulty understanding property ownership here in VN, or in the USA for that matter. I wish I could count the properties in my town here where Hanoi just came and took it, or halted the construction after it was well on its way.

"He has great difficulty understanding property ownership here in VN, or in the USA for that matter. "

I got to laugh each time I see someone ran into the problem above, because I often say: "some place used 'the Laws of Jungle; and in the USA, we have a Jungle of Laws' - either way, your property will held you down (a figure of speech) for government to rob you (actually slowly to take money from you, or your property when you can't pay or "forget to pay" taxes). Before that (you become a property owner),
you have to pay "ransom" to either agent, or  con-men/women, or lawyers and sometime both.

You needed a lot of luck (and gut) to invest into ANYTHING nowadays.
Today, the Bitcoin price is about $2,400/coin, which is worth more than 1 Tale of 24k gold !
Just imagine a real gold is worth less value than an "imaginary" Bitcoin !
WHY ? people is losing trust on their currencies all over the world, thus they wanted to find a "safer" place to park their money, and buying real estate is just another way, but then again, somebody can knock on your door (or just do it), and "ruin" your investment.
Anyway, that's just my philosophical about the subject, and personally, I would wait at least after 2018 - before thinking about invest in real estate in VN or even in USA.

I am not too sure about investing in Vietnamese properties since it is indeed difficult and that besides Vietnamese cities are already very expensive to be honest. If what you are looking for is to invest in Vietnam in general, you have better options to consider. You could invest in bonds, or in Vietnamese stocks for instance and that could be extremely lucrative. You can opt to invest in an index tracker such as the Market Vectors Vietnam ETF or you can decide to invest yourself directly which is easier that it sounds like. I have a good friend working for a financial advising company that specialize in that kind of investments. Whatever option you consider, don’t listen too much about people saying it’s impossible…If you really want to invest in Vietnam, even in properties, there is ALWAYS a way to do it. I have bought a property in the US to rent it out and before I managed to do so I had 50 persons if not more telling me it was impossible for non-US citizens… once again, if you really want something there is ALWAYS a way to do it. Have a nice day.

I think people are saying be careful, not too many saying you cant buy here, you can.

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