The regulation on foreign home ownership, drafted by the Ministry of Construction, will be submitted to the National Assembly for approval next month.
With only a small number of foreigners becoming eligible to buy apartments under the new regulation, the impact on property prices would be limited, said Nguyen Manh Ha, head of the ministry’s House Management Bureau.
Only about 10,000 foreigners will become eligible to buy apartments under the proposed new regulation and Ha said demand from this groupwas expected to be focused on upscale apartments.
To prevent home purchases for commercial purposes, the draft regulation states a foreigner who buys an apartment will only be allowed to sell the property after holding the ownership certificate for one year, the ministry said.
Eligible foreigners will be allowed to own apartments for 70 years under the proposed new regulation.
At Thursday’s meeting with the National Assembly’s Economic Committee, the Construction Ministry said about 80,000 foreigners now lived in Vietnam.
Of this group, about 25,000 people work in the country in investment projects.
Foreigners now rent more than 1,300 houses and apartments in Hanoi and 4,000 residences in Ho Chi Minh City.
GROUPS ELIGIBLE TO BUY APARTMENTS INCLUDE:
■ Heads of diplomatic corps and chief representatives of international organizations in Vietnam;
■ Foreigners who invest directly in Vietnam;
■ Foreigners who receive the President’s or Government’s certificates of merit or medals for their contribution to the country;
■ Foreign cultural activists and scientists who are working in Vietnam;
■ Foreigners who are married to Vietnamese residents and live in Vietnam;
■ Foreigners who are granted the title of honorary citizen of Vietnam by the President; and
■ Foreign-invested enterprises operating in Vietnam, excluding those operating in the real estate sector, who will be allowed to buy homes to lease to foreign employees.