A law allowing certain categories of foreigners to own apartments in Viet Nam for terms of up to 50 years officially took effect at the beginning of 2009, but only a few foreigners own houses today.
Under a resolution passed by the National Assembly in mid-2008, those eligible to buy apartments include foreign firms purchasing housing for staff. The eligible individuals are foreigners who invest directly in Viet Nam or are hired for management positions by companies in the country, foreigners married to Vietnamese, foreigners with special skills needed for Viet Nam's economy and foreigners who have been awarded medals or other honours by the Government.
After four years, only 427 foreigners and Viet kieu (overseas Vietnamese) have bought apartments in Viet Nam, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. Viet kieu are the majority. This number is quite small when compared to the estimated 80,000 foreigners living and working in the country.
Are you on the list? If not, why haven't you bought a house in Viet Nam? Is it because of the price? Or the complicated procedures? Or did you just not know about the regulation?
If you do own a home, what problems did you face when looking for a house?
Please reply by email to: email@example.com, or by fax to (84-4) 3 933 2311. Letters can be sent to The Editor, Viet Nam News, 11 Tran Hung Dao Street, Ha Noi. Replies to next week's questions must be received by Thursday morning, March 28, 2013. — VNS