Since July 2015, when the government eased the policy for foreigners buying real estate in Vietnam, allowing foreign investors to own 30% of apartments in new housing projects, this quota quickly  are filled by investors from Hong Kong, Korea and China. In addition, Vietnamese expatriates are also an active investment group in their home market.

Some key points:

Foreigners have limited quota to purchase in commercial property project:

1) 30%: if the project is the condo. (30% for single block/project))

2) 10%: if the project is house/villas: in ward area, no exceed 250 units if the project is over 2,500 units.

3) Foreigner individual has 50 years ownership, and extendable (based on local regulation)

+ Freehold ownership if resale to locals.

4) There is no different on price between local and foreing purchasers

I) OBJECTIVE

Foreign individuals: Those who are granted entry into Vietnam  and not entitled to privileges and diplomatic immunity. 

Foreign organizations: Those which are foreign invested  enterprises, branches and representative offices of foreign  enterprises, foreign funds, and branches of foreign banks duly  operating in Vietnam.

Detailed documentation is pending the  Government’s guidance.

II) LAND USE RIGHTS (LURs)

There is no concept of private ownership of land in Vietnam  as land is owned by the entire people of Vietnam, with the State as the administrator of land for the people.

However, Vietnamese laws do grant ownership of the rights to use land or the so-called land use rights (“LURs”), which  are recorded in a consolidated legal document called Certificate of Land Use Rights and Ownership of House and Other Assets Attached to Land (also known as the  “Ownership Certificate”). In Vietnam, we mostly call as “Red Book” for Certificate of LURs, or “Pink Book” for Certificate of LURs and property inside the land such as house.

III) RIGHTS AND PROTECTION

Foreign individuals granted an Ownership Certificate for their residential property in Vietnam will be entitled to ownership and use rights  similar to those of Vietnamese citizens , including but not limited to the following rights: The new law which took effect on 1 July 2015 allows foreigners who are granted entry into Vietnam to buy residential  properties in the country without further requirements on residency, investment, employment, or social contribution in Vietnam as before.

a)To use their houses for residential and other purposes not prohibited by law;

b)To maintain, renovate, demolish, or rebuild their houses in accordance with conditions and procedures of the Laws on Housing and  Construction;

c)To carry out real estate transactions on their properties such as selling, leasing, mortgaging, bequeathing, etc., in accordance with  conditions and procedures of the Law on Real Estate Business;

d)To receive the compensation in accordance with market price as prescribed by law when the State demolishes, purchases compulsorily,  or commandeers their houses for the purposes of national defense and security, socio-economic development, disaster prevention, or in  the state of wars or emergencies; 

e)To file complaints, denunciation, or lawsuits over violations against their lawful land use rights.Foreign organizations are not allowed to use their houses for sublease, offices or for other business-related purposes. The residential  properties can only be used as accommodation for employees.

IV) RESTRICTIONS

Land tenure:

a) Foreign individuals – up to 50 years (with possible extension) from the date of issuance of the Ownership Certificate.

b) Foreign individuals married to Vietnamese citizens – freehold tenure.

c)Foreign organizations – up to the duration (inclusive of extended duration) indicated in the investment certificate.

Quota for foreign ownership:

Collectively, foreign individuals and organizations cannot take up more than:

a)30% of the total units within one condominium complex,b)250 separate homes within an administrative unit equivalent to a ward.

Before expiration of ownership duration, foreign homeowners can apply for tenure renewal which is  regulated by the Government. They can also sell or bequeath their property. If the foreign homeowner  fails to do so before the expiry date, his/her property will be converted into State property.

Reference: Guide for foreign investos on residential property investment in Vietnam -Kepelland