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MoC: Restrictions on foreign home ownership must be specified soon

Released at: 07:41, 13/09/2016

MoC: Restrictions on foreign home ownership must be specified soon

Photo: Viet Tuan

Construction Ministry delivers official correspondence on the hastening of work on specifying areas where foreigners cannot buy housing.

by Duy Anh

The Ministry of Construction (MoC) is calling for the quickening of work specifying areas in cities and provinces where foreign ownership of apartments and houses is banned.

It submitted official correspondence to the Ministry of Public Security (MPS), the Ministry of Defense (MoD), provincial people’s committees and centrally-controlled cities on the implementation of the Law on Housing as it relates to foreign organizations and individuals.

The Law on Housing’s Chapter 9 regulates home ownership in Vietnam by foreign individuals and organizations, allowing them to purchase, receive as gifts, and inherit commercial housing, including apartments and houses, except in areas specifically restricted.

The government has released Decree No. 99, which came into effect on December 10, 2015, detailing and guiding the implementation of a number of articles in the Law on Housing.

Paragraph 2 of Article 75 states that: “MoD and MPS are responsible for specifying restricted areas in each city and province and notifying respective provincial people’s committees. This will be used for guiding departments of construction to specify commercial housing projects in areas where foreign ownership of apartments and houses is banned.”

MoD and MPS are yet to specify these restricted areas.

MoC also requested that people’s committee in provinces and centrally-controlled cities contact MoD and MPS to seek guidance and cooperate in implementing the policy.

As at the end of 2014 only 200 foreigners out of 80,000 in Vietnam had purchased houses in the six years since a pilot program allowing them to do so was introduced, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

Seven hundred foreigners have bought high-end housing in Ho Chi Minh City from July 1, 2015, when the Law on Housing took effect, to the end of the first quarter of 2016, a report from the Ho Chi Minh City Real Estate Association (HoREA) revealed.

The figure is quite modest given that half of all expats reside in the city.

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