The opening policy for foreigners to buy houses in Vietnam contributes to the market conditions for sustainable Vietnam real estate development in the long term. It also immediately has positive effects on resolving inventory and current bad debt of real estate. The most prominent feature of the modified Housing Act is the expansion in conditions for house leasing for Vietnamese individuals who are residing in overseas and foreign organizations and individuals. In this law, Vietnamese people in abroad "have the right to own a house without any restriction about quantity and type". According to the Law on Housing (Amendment) recently passed by the Congress, foreigners in Vietnam, as organizations and individuals can own houses. The new rule will take effect from July 2015.
For foreigners, the amended Law creates more favorable conditions for expats in Vietnam. To specify, foreign individuals invest in building houses under projects in Vietnam include organizations and individuals investing in construction projects in Vietnam under the provisions of the Act and related legislations; foreign-owned enterprises, branches and representative offices of foreign enterprises in Vietnam, foreign investment funds and foreign bank branches operating in Vietnam; and foreign individuals allowed to enter Vietnam. Foreign organizations and individuals need to have a certificate of investment and house constructed in project in accordance with the provisions of this Act and related legislation; papers relating to permitted activities of housing in Vietnam; and documents of Vietnam entry, and not entitled to the privileges and immunities of diplomacy, consulate prescribed by law...
The Law also provides specific cases: only purchase, lease, donate, inherit and possess commercial housing (including apartments and individual houses) in investment projects of housing construction with higher price prescribed by the government by region, in different periods and in unrestricted or unrestrained areas for foreign residence and travel under the provisions of the provincial People's Committee. Foreigners are allowed to buy no more than 30% of apartments in a commercial residence building. If they are detached houses (villas or adjacent houses), on an equivalent administrative unit of ward, foreigners are able to buy and own only 250 units. For foreign individuals, the period of Vietnam housing ownership does not exceeding 50 years from the date of issuing certificate. The period can be extended under the provisions of Vietnam law if required. For foreign entities, the ownership of housing is agreed in the contract of sale housing, but it does not exceed the time stated in the certificate of investment issued for organizations, including time extended. The housing ownership period is calculated from the date of the certificate issued and clearly stated in the certificate.
For owners as foreign individuals, they can lease houses to use for purposes not prohibited by law, but prior to housing rental, the owner must provide written notice of the rental with provincial regulatory authorities tracking and managing the houses. Foreign individual have to pay taxes from rental housing activity under the guidance of the government. For owners as foreign organizations, they are only allowed to use housing rental as working place for staff of that organization, not for rental, office or other purposes. This amendment also points to the real estate transaction done quickly, and does not take much time when the transaction of real estate purchase of investors until the work is handed over multiple transactions. The important highlights of this amended law is extending objects leasing social housing and opening policies for this group. The modified Housing Law will go into making a new life for the Vietnam real estate market. The market recovery will take much faster.