» » Foreigners allowed to buy apartments in Vietnam from today

Vietnam Real Estate - Starting today, foreigners who meet specific eligibility criteria can own apartments in Vietnam under a National Assembly resolution ratified last May.


According to the Construction Ministry, around 10,000 of 80,000 foreigners living and working in Vietnam are eligible to buy property, specifically apartments in commercial housing projects.

The resolution stipulates five groups of foreign individuals and organizations that are eligible to own houses in Vietnam for terms of up to 120 years.

These include individuals who invest directly in Vietnam or who are hired for management positions by local or foreign-invested companies in the country; foreigners who receive certificates of merit or medals from the president or government for their contributions to the country; foreigners who work in socioeconomic fields, hold a bachelor's degree or higher and who possess special knowledge and skills that Vietnam needs; foreigners who are married to Vietnamese residents; and foreign-invested enterprises operating in Vietnam that need to buy houses for their employees.

Most foreigners working in Vietnam currently have to hire apartments at high rents of between US$600 and $1,000 per month.

Lawyer Nguyen Van Hong, who works as a legal consultant for an Australian company in Hanoi, said many of his foreign friends had recently asked him to help them to buy an apartment.

Director Tran Minh Thong of a property company in Hanoi also said many foreigners have asked to buy apartments at the Trung Hoa - Nhan Chinh residential zone in Cau Giay District.

Experts said the move to allow foreigners to own apartments and other social housing projects could have positive impacts on the property market which has slowed down recently.

In force

The resolution is among several documents that will take effect today.

In the economic sector, wholly-owned foreign firms are allowed to join the local distribution and retail market from today under Vietnam's commitment to the World Trade Organization.

Also from today, local enterprises start to pay lower corporate tax of 25 percent, down from 28 percent. They are also allowed to pay tax later than previously.

The personal income tax law will also take effect from 2009, which stipulates that the taxable income threshold is VND4 million ($238) monthly for both locals and foreigners working in Vietnam, with taxpayers allowed deductions of VND1.6 million ($95) for each dependent.

In social sectors, the government starts to provide unemployment insurance under a decree that stipulates that Vietnamese employees who have signed contracts of a least a year will be eligible to get unemployment insurance and will receive compensation of 180 percent of a month's salary for each year they have worked when losing her/his job..

Under a decision by the Prime Minister, civil servants and soldiers who have low incomes will be paid a monthly support of VND360,000 ($21) apiece in the first four months of this year.

The basic salary at state-owned enterprises will be increased to between VND650,000 ($37) and VND800,000 ($46), from between VND540,000 ($31) and VND620,000 ($35), while those of FDI enterprises will be increased to between VND920,000 ($53) and VND1.2 million ($69), from VND800,000 ($46) and VND1 million ($57).

In HCMC, the new land price adjustment will be implemented from today, with the highest price in District 1's Dong Khoi, Le Loi and Nguyen Hue streets rising to VND81 million ($4,600) from VND67.5 million ($3,860) per square meter, while the lowest price is in Can Gio District's Thieng Lieng residential area at VND110,000 ($6.30) per square meter.

Registration fees for cars with less than ten seats in HCMC will rise to 10 percent up from 5 percent.

Source: Thanhnien News

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