I/ Do you intend to purchase property in Vietnam?

At the end of 2015, Vietnam opened up to foreign investors. Since then, Vietnam has welcomed all companies, expatriates, travellers and property buyers waiting to take a part in such exploding market.

I think Vietnam is currently one of the most exciting property investments in Asia.

Rental income is among the highest, while new condos in upcoming areas around Ho Chi Minh City can be worth as little as 1,500 USD per square meter.

Nevertheless, before deciding to buy, you need to make familiar and find out how it works practically when you purchase property as a foreign investor in Vietnam

In this article, I share a lot of useful data about foreign rules of ownership, property taxes, the purchasing process and how to get a mortgage, etc. Whether foreigners can buy property in Vietnam

Whether foreigners can buy property in Vietnam

Few foreigners in the past have succeeded in investing property in Vietnam. Mostly we can blame stringent and unfavorable rules on foreign ownership.

Still, in July 2015, the Government of Vietnam launched the Vietnamese Law on Residential Housing (LRH), which facilitates the purchase of property by foreigners.

Technically, you can purchase as many properties as you like, because the quantity of property that foreigners can purchase presently does not have constraints.

The cap had previously been set in a condominium to a maximum of one unit. Thus, the rules of foreign property have changed dramatically. The new law in Vietnam on foreign property ownership

The new law in Vietnam on foreign property ownership

I summarized the most significant data below to note the latest law:

  • Foreigners can purchase properties merely by having a visa.
  • The quantity of properties you can purchase is not limited.
  • Foreigners shall purchase no more than 30% of the units in condominiums and may not own more than 10% of the units in a landed project.
  • Foreigners may purchase homes now, but only 250 apartments in a certain ward (division). I recommend that you visit this wiki page to read more about Saigon districts and wards.
  • The lease term remains 50 years but can be renewed.
  • A freehold tenure can be obtained if you have a Vietnamese spouse.

Can foreigners buy land in Vietnam?

As in many other countries in South-East Asia, foreigners can not purchase or own land. Instead, all Vietnamese people collectively own the land, but under the control of the state.

As prescribed in the national Land Law, foreigners and foreign organisations are permitted to lease land. It takes up to 50 years to lease, but sometimes up to 70 years.

Also, in the time I am writing this article, extending the period of lease from 50 years to 99 years is considered by the Government, which, of course, is positive.

You still need to be cautious even if the rules become less rigorous and likely will loosen over the years. For instance, there is no assurance that you can renew your lease term. Vietnam’s Land Use Rights (LUR) Fortunately, the Land Use Law (LUR) in Vietnam decreases the hazards to Vietnam investment for foreigners.

Vietnam’s Land Use Rights (LUR)

You have the right to use the land, even if you are not allowed to possess the land, as specified in the LUR. It also grants you the rights to regulate the property which the Vietnamese government leases or allocates.

Beware that you must provide the Vietnamese Government with a Land Use Rights Certificate (LURC) before leasing the land. Can Vietnamese people sell the property for foreigners?

Can Vietnamese people sell the property for foreigners?

Foreigners often purchase property directly from developers on the main market or from foreigners who had earlier purchased property on the main market.

Such market restrictions have restrictions because if a foreign quota is already filled (30%), you cannot purchase the property from local people. Vietnam ownership certificates of property Importantly, you receive a certificate of ownership when you purchase a property from a developer. By 2017, foreigners had problems obtaining certificates of property ownership, which was understandably frustrative. So why has it occurred?

Vietnam ownership certificates of property

According to law, in areas reserved for national defense and security, foreigners cannot own properties. And whether the property is in the area reserved for protecting the national and security is a matter for the Ministry of National Defense and Ministry of Public Security to decide. I am unable to emphasize the significance of ensuring that your future property can be owned by you as a foreigner and confirm that you can obtain an ownership certificate before purchase.

The pink book

The certificate of property is often known as the pink book. The name comes from the small pink book you should be given after buying a property.

This book demonstrates your property's ownership and rights. It will allow you to lease and declare, for instance, information related to inheritance.

Pink books are shortly used in the title to check property ownership.

The red book

Also a red book has been used longer than the pink book. The red book is used instead of physical buildings, such as houses and condos for the title property. The pink book is, therefore, more prevalent to foreigners who usually invest in less controlled properties such as condos.

If I buy a Vietnam property, do I have to receive the pink book?

In short, for the title of property ownership, the pink book is being used. Even if you can make proof of your purchase of a SPA (Sales and Purchases Agreement), the strongest proof of ownership is to have both of them.


  • The pink book is considered the strongest evidence of property, but it is not a legal requirement.
  • The SPA (Sales and Purchase Agreement) is equally, if not more, important
  • Without the pink book, you can have more problems if selling your property.

What is the pink book inclusive?

According to the pink book, you are entitled to:

  • Use your house for residential and other purposes
  • Demolish, preserve, refurbish or re-construct your house, if the terms and processes of Laws on construction are complied with
  • Do transactions when the property is sold, mortgaged or leased

II/ Process for property purchases in Vietnam

You must comprehend the purchase process before you decide to invest in Vietnam. You would not like to receive any surprises or unknown charges later.

Below is a list of the main items you need to consider during the purchase process.

1. Paying for a property in Vietnam

This is the first and significant step in the process. Are you planning to pay with cash assets, home loans or both?

In Vietnam, because of the volatility of VND (Vietnamese Dong), residents often pay (part of the property cost) with actual gold. In the secondary market, we can still see this, but you won't participate in a market.

Transactions in VND (USD cannot be used when purchasing property in Vietnam) are usually carried out at present.

2. Why do you plan to buy?

You must also wonder why you would like to invest in Vietnam. The development of regions in Ho Chi Minh City, as it now attracts many overseas businesses, expats, and rich residents, can be a good option if you look for high appreciations. Da Nang or Nha Trang could be better options if you're looking for a beach-side resort. Da Nang has undergone recent major rises in housing prices and is growing strongly. I will clarify more about interesting property investments later in this article. You can also read my papers listing new upcoming property projects for sales in Ho Chi Minh City and other cities. One or more properties to purchase

If you are looking for high rates of rent, you might be better off buying a multiple number of units, particularly in locations such as Ho Chi Minh City.

You can also diversify your risks if you purchase multiple units.

(3. Hiring a property lawyer in Vietnam)

For greater transactions and when purchasing landed property, I advise you to employ a solicitor (lawyer). The market in Vietnam lately opened to the foreign world, which can make certain roadblocks. Nevertheless, when purchasing condos in the primary market, foreigners rarely employ property attorneys. Renowned developers (like Novaland and CapitaLand) mainly construct and handle new condo projects you saw in Ho Chi Minh City.
You will find both local and foreign developers that are reputable and comply with standards and have controlled dozens of projects in the past.
Normally, a property lawyer will be involved throughout the procedure with your property agent or developer.

4. Booking a property/condo

If your agent has helped you to discover a project and unit you like, it is time to deposit a non-refundable amount of VND 100 million.
The deposit will be paid by credit card or by bank telegraphic transfer, with the signature of the Option to enter into Deposit Contract Agreement.

5. Pay the first installment enter Deposit Contract

Within 14 days after you paid the first deposit, you must pay the first installment. Payment is carried out via bank transfer. When the first installment have been paid, you will sign a non-transferable Deposit Contract

6. Pay the following installments per schedule

The following installments will be made as specified in the contract.

7. Sales &  Purchase Agreement (SPA)

SPA preparation and implementation (if foreign ownership eligibility is verified) and the SPA shall be transferable.

8. Handover of the unit

You have to pay maintenance fees (2% of the purchase value) before you can buy the unit. You must pay one year of management & operating costs, registration fees (0.5%), and a further installment in addition to the maintenance fees.

9. Preparation for granting the pink book

You must present paperwork for the request to obtain the pink book when you have entered into the SPA and managed your economic commitments.

10. Final payment

Make final payment within 14 days since the date your’s receiving the pink book.
Transferring money to Vietnam when buying property
Generally, when making payments, you have three alternatives:
  • Open a local bank account namely Vietcombank and Vietinbank, for example. Before you go to Vietnam to see what they have to offer and to clarify all issues, I advise you to call or email them.
  • Transfer your cash directly from your home country to another branch in Vietnam. Some international banks in Vietnam, such as HSBC, can assist you.
  • Transfer money (VND) directly to the seller
Currently, when you enter or leave Vietnam, you need to report any cash value above USD 5,000.
Mortgages for foreigners in Vietnam
It was difficult, if not impossible, for a foreigner to get Vietnam mortgages.
While it is still limited, you can more easily obtain property loans from banks such as OCB, HSBC and Standard Chartering. OBC can support you as a foreigner (if you marry a Vietnamese wife/husband) the following benefits.):
  • A loan of up to 80% of the property value.
  • 15 years of the loan (so-called tenor of the loan).
To get a loan, you have to provide some collaterals such as evidence of your current savings or other assets. In brief, collateral is used to create sure the mortgage can be repaid if you fail to pay. Contact certain local banks and see what they can offer. It is important to ensure that you get the best loan by the interest price, amortization requirements and payback period.
Vietnam property taxes
Vietnam provides competitive property taxes. The followings are the taxes that you have to pay when purchasing the primary market property.
VAT for the purchase of condominiums on the primary market is 10%.
Maintenance fee/sinking fund
The buyer also pays a maintenance fee of 2%.
Registration fee
Enrollment charge is 0.5% and payable by the buyer.
Rental income tax
You pay a 5% VAT and 5% personal income tax when you buy-to-let. Therefore, your rental income is inclusive of 10% in total.
Capital gains tax
Even if the theory does not include capital gains tax, you must pay 2% personal income tax when selling assets.
Land tax
Normally, foreigners can not purchase property, but for private information, the tax ranges from 0.03–0.15%. If necessary, consult your agent or lawyer to verify how tax payments will be handled.

III/ The best places to buy property in Vietnam

When investing in a foreign country, it is sometimes difficult to find the correct place. The followings are some of the most exciting and famous cities where I suggest that you seek for a property.
Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
Ho Chi Minh City is one of Asia fastest-growing cities, attracting increasing numbers of investors. One reason is that China manufacturing is becoming costlier.
Another reason is the demand for investments from overseas of Hong Kong and Mainland China, as prices have risen enormously over the previous several years.
In cities like Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, you can be sure to look for properties with price rates between 20- 30%.
Also, in particular, compared with other South-East Asian countries, property prices go up fast but the rent rates are also good.
Personally, because of its business atmosphere, the opportunities and the close distance from other business hubs, such as Kuala Lumpur, Phnom Penh, Hong Kong and Singapore, I like Ho Chi Minh City a lot.
Old colonial-tyle structures in combination with local culture and new skyscrapers make this place one of the most interesting places for investment in the coming years.
Da Nang
Da Nang is a coastal city with direct flights from Asia main business hubs in the center of Vietnam.
Although the city receives more and more investments, mainly from Korea, Japan and China, it is better known for its resorts and its lovely nature.
Prices for the property are higher scale and you will be sure to discover many high-end hotels and condominiums are constructed here. Nevertheless, prices are lower compared to Ho Chi Minh City.
The infrastructure is one of the best in Vietnam and has a friendly business atmosphere. You should not neglect this city if you are seeking for a location to enjoy your holidays or invest for business reasons.
If you want to verify exciting properties for sale in Da Nang, please visit this article.
Nha Trang
Nha Trang is likely Vietnam, most famous tourist destination between Ho Chi Minh City and Danang.
Nha Trang has been selected for holidays by numerous Chinese and Russian people.
When visiting Nha Trang some time ago, I was amazed to see signs both in Chinese and Russian, a great number of locals, even street vendors, can interact in Russian or Chinese when foreigners attempt to bargain about rates.
In Nha Trang, the price of property and living expenses is typically lower in comparison to locations such as Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Da Nang.
Hanoi is Vietnam capital, yet still smaller than Ho Chi Minh City, the biggest business hub.
Compared to China, I would say that Hanoi resembles Beijing while Ha Chi Minh is similar to Shanghai or Shenzhen.
Hanoi has not drawn as many investors as Ho Chi Minh City as it is a hub for politics and culture. You will also realize that the press speaks less about Hanoi, in comparison.
Although Hanoi attracts less attention and investment in comparison to Ho Chi Minh City, many international investors (including many Koreans) still invest cash in this comfortable property market.
If I purchase a house there, do I need to reside in Vietnam?
No, for a longer period under the new legislation you do not have to reside or stay in Vietnam.
In other nations such as Australia, you sometimes need to live actively there to maintain your property.
Can foreigners’ property is rented out in Vietnam?
There are no special limitations for foreigners to rent their properties in Vietnam under the new laws.
However, if you decide to lease your property, you should inform the residential authorities in your district first. Also, remember that you have to pay 10% VAT of your total yearly rental revenue plus a personal income tax (PIT).
Your agent may assist you to find tenants and draw up the tenant contract. If your tenant moves out, they will find you a new one. The tenant must deposit a 1-3-month rental payment (usually 2 months) that you can keep if they want to leave the property sooner than your agreed term.
What should be included in my rental agreement?
Make sure to include in your rental agreement the following items:
  • Your’s and the tenant’s name and residence address
  • Payable rental and the tenant’s payment method
  • Rental time (generally 6-36 months)
  •  When the tenant can move in
  •  Prepare an inventory list (what furniture and appliances that are available to the property)
  • Your and the tenant’s rights and responsibilities (for instance, keep your noise levels down after some time and right to use your car park)
  • Signatures and date

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