Vietnam urged to loosen rules on expat property ownership

Published:  29 Apr at 6 PM
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Vietnamese property developers are urging the government to reduce the rules on expat ownership.

In a move prompted by the need to spur the expat takeup of premium apartments in order to avoid unsold inventory, Vietnam’s construction sector is urging the government to ease the rules on foreign ownership. According to a recent report, the 30 per cent cap on foreign ownership in any one premium apartment project is stifling an increase in expatriate demand for such properties in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

Nowadays, foreign demand for properties in Vietnam is increasing across the board as expatriates already in Southeast Asia are leaving their present countries of residence due to increasingly onerous long-stay visa rules, soaring costs of living, economic instability and the belief that prejudice against Westerners is increasing. The present day chaos caused by the coronavirus pandemic is stoking even more concern as well as fears that the situation, especially in Thailand, may result in even stricter changes in visa requirements.

Reports suggest expatriates with long-term Vietnamese projects as well as those with Vietnamese wives prefer to purchase rather than rent their homes, with the Vietnamese diaspora considering a high end property in the home country as a worthwhile investment. Even although property prices are beginning to rise, premium apartments are still costing some 20 to 30 per cent less than in Hong Kong, and foreign investors are now viewing the country as having unlimited potential as a tourist and manufacturing hub.

The only concern over loosening the regulations for foreign buyers would seem to be that concentration on the luxury market could siphon investment capital away from the affordable home sector essential for Vietnamese citizens.
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