Thousands of foreigners await home-ownership certificates

By Trung Ngoc - Aug 09, 2017 | 12:12 PM GMT+7

TheLEADERThousands of successful real estate deals have been closed relevant to foreigners but up to date a modest number granted home-ownership certificates may hinder foreigners' eagerness.

Thousands of foreigners await home-ownership certificates
Home-ownership certificates remain beyond reach of foreigners. Photo: Internet

According to article 161, Housing Law which takes effect as of July 01, 2015 specified a limit of 30% of apartments in an apartment building or more than 250 houses regarding separate houses including villas, row houses to sell to foreigners.

Nguyen Khanh Duy, Director - Residential Sales Department of Savills Viet Nam (Ho Chi Minh City branch) said that from 2015, amendments to 2014 Housing Law that allow foreigners to buy houses in Vietnam are considered as a positive move in policy and receives good feedbacks from both sellers and buyers.

According to Savills Viet Nam, over the past two years, there have been thousands of successful real estate transactions with foreign customers in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). In 2017, many of projects have reached the maximum home-ownership by foreigners in a short time.

Specifically, a project located in the prime location of District 2 was opened for sale in phase 2, the quota for foreigners reached over 30% so quickly that many foreigners were not eligible for homeownership. These customers are mainly from Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore.

However, according to the Ministry of Construction, only 179 foreigners have been granted house ownership certificates in Vietnam. This is a modest figure and does not reflect the reality and the demand of foreigners for owning houses in Vietnam.

One of the solutions is that the red book-granting process must be widespread rather than concentrated in some central areas. In addition, foreigners should have a thorough grasp of the legal procedures in Vietnam.

Furthermore, in order to find a suitable real estate project, foreign investors should work with international prestige consultancy companies for detailed legal explanation and purchase procedures.

Foreign investors should also understand their budgets, as well as their specific requirements for the projects in which they are interested to get the most detailed consultancy.

According to experts, removing such barriers plays an important role to create favorable conditions to keep pace with the willing spirit that prevailing laws have paved for foreigners' accession to real estate market.

According to the MoC’s Circular No.19/2016/TT-BXD dated June 30, 2016 on guiding the implementation of some contents of the Law on housing and the Government's Decree No. 99/2015/ND-CP dated October 20, 2015 on defining the number of apartments that foreigners are allowed to own, to tighten the resale procedure, increase the transparency of the paperwork and administrative process of real estate.

However, this limit should be flexibly adjusted to create the leverage for the real estate market.

After amendments to 2014 Housing Law, many foreigners have expressed their interests in the real estate market in big cities, especially in HCMC, Hanoi and Da Nang.

There are about 82,000 foreigners living and working in Viet Nam (according to the statistic as of May 2016 announced by the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs). 

According to Savills Vietnam, that foreigners are allowed to buy houses after entry in Viet Nam is expected to stimulate various types of real estate related to investment, tourism and services. This will benefit the economy, comply with international practices and is considered as a form of effective on-spot "export" of real estate.

"Export" of real estate will bring great benefits to Viet Nam’s economy. According to the Housing and Real Estate Market Management Agency under the Ministry of Construction (MoC), by June 20, 2017, the total value of the nation-wide real estate inventory was VND27,341 billion (equivalent to US$1.2 billion). This huge amount will be extremely helpful for re-investment in other sectors of the economy.