Only 15 foreigners, Viet Kieu own houses in Ho Chi Minh City

Vague regulations on foreign property ownership continue to put off non-resident homebuyers.

By Tuoi Tre News

August 06,2017, 14:35 GMT+7

​Only 15 foreigners, Viet Kieu own houses in Ho Chi Minh City
Foreigners look for an apartment in District 2, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Only 15 foreigners and Viet Kieu (overseas Vietnamese) were granted certificates of house ownership in Ho Chi Minh City as of May 15, according to statistics from the municipal Department of Construction.

The reality is in stark contrast with a government decree and new housing laws enacted in 2015, which relaxed requirements for foreigners to own properties in Vietnam.

Tran Vinh Tuyen, deputy chairman of Ho Chi Minh City, recently issued a dispatch to the city’s departments, police and military command demanding that the bodies work toward further facilitating the issuance of house ownership certificates to foreign individuals and organizations.

The dispatch rapped the relevant bodies for their inertia in implementing a previous directive from the municipal administration, in which it requested the urgent determination of zones off-limits to foreigners due to national defense and security reasons.

The lack of clear guidelines on the restricted areas had slowed the processing of house ownership applications by foreigners in the city, the dispatch noted.

“The Department of Construction must take responsibility for this delay as the body is in charge of coordinating the determination of national defense and security zones,” the deputy chairman said.

“In most cases, foreigners who apply for house ownership are looking for long-term settlement rather than making a profit from re-selling their property,” said Hoang Manh Thang, head of a notary office in Ho Chi Minh City. “However, they often change their minds upon learning that they would have to wait for a conclusion on which areas were off-limits to foreigners.”

According to statistics provided by the municipal Department of Construction, only 15 foreigners and Vietnamese living abroad were granted certificates of house ownership in Ho Chi Minh City as of May 15.

Deputy chairman Tuyen has urged relevant authorities to speed up their determination of restricted zones in the city as well as publish a complete list of realty projects that foreigners are not allowed to own.

In 2015, a government decree and new housing laws came into effect, granting foreign organizations and individuals the right to own at most 30 percent of the apartments in a condo building.

For individual properties in an area with a population equivalent to that in a ward-level administrative unit, foreigners are permitted to own a maximum of 250 houses under 50-year leases.

After the 50-year period, foreign individuals can extend the ownership once, but not for more than 50 years.

The old law permitted them to own only one piece of property for a maximum time frame of 50 years.

Zones considered sensitive to national defense and security are off-limits to foreign buyers.

This entry was posted in Expat pushasing home - người nước ngoài ở VN mua nhà, Viet kieu, Viet kieu purchasing home - Việt kiều mua nhà and tagged , , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development ( I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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