Useful advice for the foreigners to own the property in Vietnam

Useful advice for the foreigners to own the property in Vietnam

According to the Housing Law, the foreigners can buy and own the property in Vietnam. However, they have to know well about the regulations. These are 7 tips for them to consider carefully.

First, the buyer must be qualified under the applicable laws. According to the Housing Law, the condition is now so relaxed that a foreigner who lawfully enters Vietnam can be eligible to own residential housing. As such, the buyer needs to prove that his entrance is legally permitted.

Second, he should keep a track record for the money he brings to Vietnam for buying the house. This would make it easier for the buyer to remit the money back after selling the house at a later date. For this purpose, he should open an account at a bank in Vietnam to which the money will be transferred, and from which the payments for the house should be made. In case the money is his salary or income earned from working or doing business in Vietnam, he should keep documents that track his/her income.

Third, the buyer should get to know which property projects that he or she is permitted or not permitted to buy in order to avoid future risks. Please note that foreign buyers are only permitted to buy houses from new housing development projects, not in existing residential quarters. This job is not difficult for foreign buyers if he or she consults with a reputable property agent.

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Fourth, foreigners should make sure that the property developers they are contracted with are qualified to sign housing sale and purchase agreements with buyers. In principle, the property developers are allowed to enter into housing sale and purchase agreements once (i) the housing project is properly approved; (ii) the foundation work of the house is completed, and (iii) the terms and conditions of the agreement for selling a condo have been registered at the Vietnam Competition Authority (under the Ministry of Trade and Industry). An agreement may be void if failing to meet one of these conditions, and thus, the interests of the buyer may not be properly protected.

Fifth, buyers should pay careful attention to the implementation of a housing sale agreement with housing development projects, since this may be not similar to the transaction practice in his native country. He should seek advice from lawyers to avoid risks.

Sixth, according to the Housing Law, foreign housing owners have the same full rights as Vietnamese over the house, such as leasing, donation, a capital contribution, etc. However, it should be noted that the foreign owner can exercise these rights only after he or she has obtained a “land use right certificate and/or property ownership” for the real estate. Therefore, in the respective contract, the obligation to apply for the certificate of ownership and/or the land use rights by the seller should be clearly stipulated. Also, when leasing the real estate, the foreigner owners must register the lease agreements with the local government (district-level administration committees), and properly declare his/her income tax for the earned rents. By complying with these requirements, the foreign buyers’ incomes will be treated as legitimate income which can be remitted abroad. In addition, when renting out a house, it is also required that the owners must register the temporary residence of tenants with relevant local authorities.

Seventh, if the foreign owners no longer want to own the house, what can they do? They can sell it. However, currently there is no clear guidance from the State Bank of Vietnam on how foreign owners can remit the sale proceeds from selling the house. Again, to navigate through such procedures, buyers should consult with a lawyer specializing in real estate.

Source: VIR

June 29, 2017 / by / in
The foreign investment is increasing in the real estate projects

A sharp increase in foreign arrivals to Vietnam at the start of 2017 has injected a huge development impetus into the coastal resort sector, and there have also been a raft of investments, mergers and acquisitions in other real estate sectors. Vietnam’s largest property consultancy firm Savills recently released a report on the investment and transfer of real estate projects that have taken place so far this year.

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One of the stand out transactions was made by CapitaLand Group with the purchase of a 0.6-hectare (1.5-acre) piece of commercial land in downtown Ho Chi Minh City to build Vietnam’s first A-class international complex. The project will receive more disbursement from a $500-million investment fund committed by Singaporean developers last November. CapitaLand also announced the acquisition of a 90 percent stake in a 0.8-hectare project in Thao Dien, Ho Chi Minh City, to build over 300 apartments.

Another Singaporean developer Keppel Land has paid VND 846 billion ($37 million) to raise its share to 16 percent in the Saigon Center project in downtown Ho Chi Minh City.

Besides, in March, Hong Kong Land officially became a strategic partner of the Ho Chi Minh City Infrastructure Investment Joint Stock Company (CII) to build housing projects in the new Thu Thiem urban area.

In another popular residential area in the southern economic hub, local group An Gia and its Japanese partner Creed Group continued their takeover of five apartment blocks in La Casa project in District 7 worth some VND 910 billion (around $40 million).

In the resort sector, Malaysia’s Berjaya Land sold its 70 percent stake in a four-star resort on Phu Quoc Island to Sulyna Hospitality for $14.65 million.

According to Savills, Vietnam’s tourism sector enjoyed a great start to this year with around 3.2 million foreign arrivals in the first quarter, up 29 percent on-year.

This growth follows record numbers in 2016 when Vietnam welcomed over 10 million international tourists. The country is forecast to receive 11.5 million foreign visitors this year. This should provide the ideal conditions for further growth in the resort sector, said Savills.

Source: VNexpress

June 27, 2017 / by / in
Ministry does not accept proposal of building mini apartment

The Ministry of Construction has rejected a Ho Chi Minh City Real Estate Association proposal for housing developers to construct mini apartments that measure less than 25 square meters each.

The association has proposed the Ministry of Construction give the green light to developers to construction these mini apartment units for rent to replace many slums and cramped, dirty apartment buildings in Ho Chi Minh City that fail to meet both quality requirements and living conditions for tenants.

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The Ministry gives the reasons of rejection

The association explains that the majority of low-income earners can afford to own these small units, which will result in a substantial improvement in their living environment and security issues. However, the ministry said the proposal was not in line with its Circular 20/2016 TT-BXD.

Specifically, the circular specifies households or individuals can develop rooms for rent with a minimum area of 10 square meters, as the majority of such individuals develop these housing units on their land that is usually not large. These regulations are aimed to encourage households or individuals to build homes for rent.

Meanwhile, the enterprises must cover at least 25 square meters to develop each budget housing apartment since they can secure vast areas of land to develop their projects. In addition to apartment units, they have to invest in technical and social infrastructure in order to guarantee residents’ quality of life, the ministry added.

Regarding a question by the Ho Chi Minh City Real Estate Association over funding for social housing projects to support the poor, the ministry said the Government has directed the Ministry of Finance to work with relevant ministries and agencies to map out a mechanism for partly covering interest rates for social housing apartments, which are budget homes for poor people.

Besides, the Ministry of Planning and Investment has been assigned to coordinate with the ministries of finance and construction to determine the amount of money needed.

The State Bank of Vietnam and the Vietnam Bank for Social Policy are responsible for devising interest rates. Then, the Prime Minister will have a final say on this.

Source: The Saigon Times

June 21, 2017 / by / in
The property market of Vietnam in the first half of 2017


Vietnam remains an attractive destination for foreign investors, demonstrated by the substantial increase of 77.6% y-o-y in the newly registered FDI recorded in 1Q17. Among investors, South Korea, Singapore and China ranked the three largest sources.

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Residential market

Both Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and Hanoi reported strong launching and sales activity in the first quarter of 2017. New launches came on a citywide and segment-wide manner in both main markets, and sales continued to respond positively to the new supply. The market witnessed good performance of both the investor and owner-occupier demand. In addition, thanks to the currently good market sentiment, coupled with more improvement in infrastructure development and the retail sector across the cities, prices extended their prevailing up-trends. Until year-end, good momentum in many facets of the residential markets is expected to be continued.

Office for lease market

Both HCMC and Hanoi market reported high-level net absorption rates in the first quarter of 2017, with HCMC mainly driven by the two new Grade B buildings and Hanoi led by Grade A and Grade B buildings completed in recent years 2015-16. In terms of rental rates, the Grade A segment in both markets reported q-o-q increases while the Grade B segment showed opposite trends. Some long-standing Grade B buildings in Hanoi quoted lower rents q-o-q in order to stay attractive compared to their competitors. Between now and end-2017, increased leasing activity is likely in both markets, with two new Grade A buildings expected in HCMC and five Grade B buildings expected in Hanoi.

Retail market

The retail markets in HCMC and Hanoi were quite stable in the Shopping Centre segment with no new supply. Rental rates in the Non-CBD areas of the two cities continued to experience decreases while those in the CBD areas reported different trends. Shopping centres in the HCMC’s CBD saw some slight increases in rents thanks to the increased footfall and openings of new flagship stores. The two markets in the remainder of 2017 are expected to be more active, with an addition of around 40,000-50,000 sqm of retail space to each market. The Convenience Store segment has experienced considerable growth in recent quarters and this is expected to continue into the remainder of 2017.

Source: JLL

June 19, 2017 / by / in
More cheap apartments in many Vietnam’s cities

Vietnam’s major cities are gearing up to develop homes for workers, planning to construct small studios of some 25-50sq.m at the price of 150 million (6,500 USD) per unit. The Vietnam General Confederation of Labour and Hanoi People’s Committee, at a recent dialogue with workers, said the capital city would develop small apartments at the price of some 5 million VND per sq.m, but with adequate infrastructure and facilities such as schools and supermarkets for workers.

Building more cheap apartments in major cities

This cheered low-income workers but also raised the question on whether the tiny flats would disregard plans and eventually turn into slums. Previously, the Ministry of Construction gave its nod to the construction of tiny studios of 25sq.m while developing technical standards for apartments.

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Statistics of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour showed that there were some 2.8 million workers at industrial zones, of which 1.7 million required homes, but the current supply could meet only 8-10 percent. The rest were forced to live in rented houses, mainly having poor living conditions, which impacted health and productivity.

Because of the high demand of homes for low income workers in major cities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong and Dong Nai, efforts were hastened to build affordable homes for workers. The southern province of Binh Duong was the pioneer, building apartments worth 100 million VND for workers and achieving success.

Earlier this year, HCM City began studying the feasibility of building small affordable homes in the city. The southern city’s People’s Committee recently asked the municipal Department of Construction to prepare the plan of housing development for workers by 2020 and submit it within the second quarter of this year.

Hanoi’s Department of Construction, meanwhile, recently proposed to check the available land bank for housing development for workers and raised plans for expansion of the infrastructure system and social facilities such as schools and supermarkets. The capital city’s construction department will also study and introduce model worker apartments, ensuring decent living standard at industrial zones. According to Nguyen Chi Thanh, deputy director of the Vietnam Association of Realtors, developing affordable homes for workers is feasible if there is available land and special mechanisms for developers.

Source: VNA

June 9, 2017 / by / in
How to rent a motorbike in Vietnam?

If you live and work in Vietnam, renting a motorbike is a great opportunity to get off the beaten track and discover on your own. Especially, there are many agents in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi having bikes for rent. You will need to fill out a form to rent the bike along with leaving your passport as a deposit. Besides, most places usually offer a selection of manual shift and automatic shift motorbikes. The rentals will also come with a helmet. Remember that using helmet is mandatory in Vietnam.

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Here are 5 tips of renting a motorbike for you:

  1. Check your bike

Test the your turn signals and lights and take a quick test drive around the block. When you park in a public area, don’t lose that ticket. If you lose it, you will need to verify the ownership of the bike, which means contacting the place you rented the bike. In Vietnam, people usually use Honda, Nouvo, Lead, etc. from 100cc to 250cc.

  1. Get the contact details

The contact information of the agency is very important if you rent their motorbike. This could be a lifesaver if your bike breaks down or something likes that. Please take the details into account when you decide which bike to hire, ask about bike model and year of manufacturing and don’t just look at prices.

  1. Make sure your helmet is good

Generally, the agency will give you the helmet because using it is compulsory in Vietnam. You should check the condition of this helmet and ask for alternative one if it is not good.

  1. Anticipate your surroundings

Vietnamese drivers don’t really use their wing mirrors so watch out for the traffic ahead of you. Also, slow down through intersections as stopping at a red is more like a guideline as opposed to a rule. The traffic in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi is quite busy and narrow, therefore, you should drive carefully.

June 2, 2017 / by / in