OWNERSHIP RIGHTS OF FOREIGNERS: NEED TO EXPANDED CONDITIONS

Expanding for many foreigners to own houses in Vietnam is essential and also in line with international practices. However, how to create conditions for this group of people to own houses while ensuring economic and political security?

Resolving output for real estate market

The revised Housing Law expanding for many foreigners who own houses in Vietnam is in line with international practices as well as the Party and State guidelines and the country’s economic situation. Deputy Minister of Construction Nguyen Tran Nam said: From 2008, Resolution 19/2008/NQ-QH12 (on the pilot for foreign organizations and individuals to buy and own houses in Vietnam) was issued. Accordingly, it is very strict for foreigners to own houses in Vietnam and only 5 types of objects are allowed to purchase. After 5 years of implementation, about 200 houses have been sold; of which, many of whom also buy houses under regulations for foreigners.

Secondly, the Draft also defined clearly what the project is when foreigners buy houses in projects, with the aim of only allowing foreigners to buy houses from investors. In other words, foreigners are not allowed to buy houses directly from the people.

Regarding the housing ownership of foreigners, the draft decree guiding the revised Housing Law regulated in quite detailed and specific way on 2 issues. Firstly, when foreigners are allowed to own houses for 50 years, but in valid possession period, foreigners want to transfer to others, the next homeowner will be possessed long-term when being Vietnamese; if the next homeowner is a foreigner, the ownership period is still according to the first purchase time of the first owner.

The difficulty is being

Some countries in the world often encourage foreigners to buy houses with promotions such as granted a green card, extended residence permit, granted a tax-free import license for cars … However, when foreigners buy real estate, they often buy real estate title insurance. This type of insurance must compensate the real estate owners in the future when disputes occur and when the real estate owner suffers losses. 

Financial expert Nguyen Tri Hieu said that any foreigner who wants to own real estate in Vietnam is very interested in the type of real estate insurance, except for those who are reckless and not knowledgeable. Therefore, in the US, banks will never lend when customers do not spend money to buy insurance accompanied with that asset. 

Mr. Hieu also said: Currently, no insurance company in the world or in Vietnam can provide housing insurance for people in Vietnam, because the land is owned by the people and individuals do not have the right to own land. Therefore, there will be many foreigners who do not dare to buy real estates in Vietnam.

Thus, the expectation of resolving the output for the real estate market on the basis of expanding foreign buyers can only be achieved when we have more open conditions in the transfer or lease of foreigners’ housing ownership. In addition, there should be a national agency for transaction registration and security related to ownership rights of land and houses nationwide, especially transactions related to foreigners.

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