Housing shake-up offers hope for foreign buyers

More foreigners will be allowed to purchase houses in Vietnam under a recent proposal made by the Ministry of Construction.

A new urban area in Hanoi.

The new buyers include foreign investment funds and commercial banks, as well as branches and representative offices of foreign companies currently in operation in Vietnam.

The Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper reported on Saturday, diplomatic corps and non-government organisations are not included in the list of proposed house buyers.

Apart from foreigners working for diplomatic corps and non-government organisations, all foreigners who are granted a visa of over three months to Vietnam will be allowed to buy houses in the country, the report said.

The Construction Ministry has also proposed that foreigners may rent, sell or donate houses that they own 12 months after the house ownership certificates have been granted.

However, the report did not clarify if the housing properties that foreigners are allowed to buy include independent villas.

Current regulations restrict foreign ownership of housing property to apartments wherein the land-use rights remain in the hands of the property developer.

The proposal was made by the Construction Ministry on Friday, nearly five years after the introduction of the Resolution No 19/2008/QH12, which piloted the scheme to allow foreign organisations and individuals to buy and own houses in Vietnam.

The new proposal is aimed at encouraging more foreign individuals and organisations to join the country's property market.

So far foreigners have purchased 126 houses in Vietnam, mainly in southern and central localities like Ho Chi Minh City, Ba Ria - Vung Tau, Binh Duong and Khanh Hoa.

VNA

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