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Accordingly, as of May 04, 2013, overseas Vietnamese and foreigners in Hanoi will be granted such certificates if they satisfy all conditions required for users of lands or owners of dwelling houses, including fulfilling related financial obligations.

Under the new regulation, overseas Vietnamese who are listed as eligible to possess houses in Vietnam will submit their papers to and receive related certificates from the local people’s committee (ward, commune or town level) where their property is located.

These committees will then refer the case to the district-level Departments of Natural Resources and Environment no later than 15 business days on receipt of the papers.

As for house owners who are foreigners, they are required to submit their files at the Land Registration Office in Hanoi at No 10 Dang Dung Street, Ba Dinh District.

However, they can own the property for no more than 50 years.

Within 12 months of the ownership certificate expiring, foreign home-owners must sell or donate their property. A foreigner is permitted to own one property only.

In case land users or house owners authorize others to submit their files on their behalf, the authorization must be made in writing.

The Hanoi People’s Committee also said certificates will not be granted to lands allocated by the State, farming land, garden land, public land, and land plots subject to withdrawal.

According to statistics of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, as of February 2013, there are only 427 cases in which overseas Vietnamese and foreigners managed to own houses in Vietnam.

Very few foreigners have been allowed to buy houses in Vietnam in the past five years, said Nguyen Tran Nam, Deputy Minister of Construction.

Under current regulations, a foreigner is allowed to lease land on a long-term basis but they are not allowed to own houses. As for foreigners who meet conditions for buying a house, they can use the house for living purposes only and are not allowed to re-lease the house to others.

“Therefore, some amendments may be made to these regulations this year to expand the list of foreign subjects eligible to buy houses in Vietnam, not confining only to those who are doing business in Vietnam,” Nam said.

Within this year the Ministry of Construction will review all relevant law documents to boost the development of the housing and land markets in Vietnam. Also, regulations on allowing foreigners to buy houses in Vietnamese will be loosened, the official said.

Allowing foreigners to purchase houses in Vietnam is a good move that will help enhance the liquidity of the real estate market in Vietnam, CB Richard Ellis (Vietnam) Co Ltd (CBRE VN), a subsidiary of CBRE, the world’s largest commercial real estate services firm, commented.

Collected by RealEstate1.vn

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