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Foreigners permitted to buy housing

Released at: 14:59, 26/11/2014

Foreigners permitted to buy housing

The Law on Housing has been approved by the NA Standing Committee, with provisions loosening requirements on foreigners buying housing in Vietnam.

by Quynh Nguyen

The National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee yesterday approved the Law on Housing, allowing foreigners to buy a house in Vietnam.

The Law permits individuals, organizations, foreign invested enterprises, representative offices of foreign companies, except for property companies, and branches of foreign banks to purchase housing in the country.

Decree No 19, issued by the government on June 3, 2008 and previously regulating the matter but now superseded by the Law, stipulated that foreigners wishing to buy housing must have a valid visa of more than six month’s duration, be an entrepreneur or social contributor, or be married to a Vietnamese national.

According to Mr. Le Hoang Chau, Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Real Estate Association, imposing restrictions on those who can buy houses was unreasonable. “There are many foreign businesspeople who have subsidiary companies in Vietnam,” he said. “They may not live and work here but regularly come to Vietnam and so would wish to buy a house. It’s ridiculous that the government prohibited them from doing so.”

Many experts believe that encouraging foreigners to own a house would not only promote a range of other industries but also stimulate the real estate market.

The Law on Housing also loosens the requirements on Vietnamese people living and working in another country, enabling them to own a house in another country without any restriction on numbers and type.

The NA approved the Law with 77.64 per cent of delegates voting in favor. It will come into effect on July 1, 2015. 

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