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Law to ease real estate restrictions

Update: October, 25/2014 - 09:34
Dang Xa Urban Area for low-income families in Gia Lam District, Ha Noi. National Assembly members yesterday discussed the need to establish a fund to support access to affordable housing, as well as requirements for foreigners buying houses in Viet Nam. — VNA/VNS Photo Tuan Anh
HA NOI (VNS)— Most National Assembly members yesterday agreed that the amended Housing Law should allow more foreigners to be eligible to buy or own houses in Viet Nam.

However, they also agreed that strict regulations must also be implemented to prevent them from cornering the market.

Under the proposal, foreign individuals and organisations allowed to stay and operate in Viet Nam can own houses belonging to housing projects for the period outlined in their investment licence. Organisations or individuals can own houses for a period of up to 50 years.

The duration can be extended and they can also lease their houses to other people.

However, foreigners will not be allowed to buy houses in certain areas. The number of houses or apartments that they can buy in an area or block will also be limited.

Many NA members said there should be stricter requirements on the time they reside in Viet Nam and methods of payment to prevent fraud. Payments must also be made through credit organisations with permission to operate in Viet Nam.

The amended Law proposes that "any foreigner who is allowed to enter Viet Nam and is keen to own a house in the country will have the right to buy and own it".

Others called for stricter requirements on ownership to guarantee national defence and security and avoid foreigners taking control the domestic housing market.

NA members also discussed the need to establish a development fund for affordable housing, but are still divided on the issue.

Tran Van Minh, a NA member from Quang Ninh Province, said there was no need to establish a development fund for affordable housing because its responsibilities would be quite similar to Viet Nam Bank for Social Policies, which has already worked to provide loans for the poor to build and renovate affordable housing.

Minh suggested there only be added responsibilities for the Viet Nam Bank for Social Policies, such as supporting eligible people who need affordable housing.

Others agreed to establishing the fund, saying that it could mobilise funds from people eligible for affordable housing and funds from other organisations, such as through the issuance of bonds.

Tran Du Lich, an NA member from HCM City, said there must be regulations to provide incentives for localities to establish a fund helping the poor to own house.

In the afternoon, the NA also discussed draft revisions to the Law on Real Estate Business.

Deputies called for a comprehensive review of relating laws to prevent legal conflicts and loopholes and ensure consistency. They recommended a minimum legal capital of VND20 billion (US$950,000) for property business start-up. — VNS


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