Foreigners buying property in Vietnam: Updated guidance 2022

Nhung Kieu08/06/2022

Foreigners buying property in Vietnam is possible in some ways, according to the Vietnamese Law on Residential Housing. However there are some rules and regulations that foreign citizens must know before purchasing any kind of real estate properties in Vietnam. This article is helpful guidance for those who are looking forward to investing in land or house to make a profit or for long-term residence in this beautiful country.

Can foreigner buy property in Vietnam?

The new Vietnam Housing Law became effective from July 1, 2015 making it easier for foreign citizens or investors to buy real properties in Vietnam. Below are the main key points of which you should take notice in this new housing law of 2015:

  • Foreign travelers from other countries are allowed to buy properties in Vietnam as long as they own a valid tourist visa.
  • The number of real property units which expats can purchase is unlimited. However, it’s not permitted to buy more than 250 houses that reside in the same ward.
  • Foreigners are only allowed to purchase up to 30% of the total units in condominium blocks. They’re also restricted to owning a maximum of 10% of the real estate in one landed project.
  • The land leasehold will expire after 50 years but it’s now renewable. This shows that you don’t possess the land itself but only a property built on the land.
  • Expats are granted freehold ownership if they’re married to a Vietnamese.

The new Vietnam Housing Law of 2015 comes with major changes, especially for foreigners buying property in Vietnam

Real property ownership for foreigners in Vietnam – “The Pink Book”

Before buying any real estate, it’s mandatory to obtain a certificate of proprietorship issued by the Vietnamese government. The certificate is usually known as the “Pink Book” and it expresses ownership of houses, land use rights and other assets that come with the land.

Here are some of the uses that the pink book has:

  • Allow utilization of the property for residential or other purposes
  • Let the owner rebuild, renovate, maintain or dismantle the property while obeying the laws of construction
  • Enable the owner to give the property to an heir or mortgage, sell, lease the property

The process of foreigners buying property in Vietnam

Step 1: Choose an area

Ask yourself what are the goals you want to achieve when buying real estate in Vietnam. If it’s work related, you might want to buy a house near your workplace. If you want a place to relax and enjoy your time in Vietnam during vacations, then we suggest some famous coastal cities in Vietnam such as Da Nang, Nha Trang or Quang Ninh.

If you’re looking to gain some profit by leasing or selling the real properties, consider the central areas in Ho Chi Minh City or Ha Noi.

Step 2: Find a real estate agency

The process of buying real estate in Vietnam might be discouraging sometimes. That’s why it’s best that you find a real estate agency who can give you updated information about the property or areas which you’re about to invest in. The real estate agents will also play an important role in helping you complete the legal procedures of buying a house in Vietnam.

Moreover, foreigners should also consult a good lawyer in the field before making any significant transactions.

Vietnamese real estate agencies will give foreigners buying property in Vietnam useful information

Step 3: Making a deposit to buy real property in Vietnam

After you have selected the appropriate real estate, it’s time to sign a deposit contract and make a booking for the house. The amount of money for deposit mainly depends on the consensus between the seller and purchaser.

Step 4: Sign a housing purchase contract and make payment

After agreeing on all of the terms in the contract, the relevant parties will sign a housing purchase contract. The contract will determine the rights and obligations that the purchaser and the project investor need to follow.

The purchaser can pay for the real estate by choosing one of the following methods:

  • Pay with cash or housing mortgage (or a combination of both)
  • Buy the house on an installment plan
  • Bank transactions (usually in Vietnamese Dong)

Step 5: Apply for the Pink Book – Certificate of real property ownership

After being handed over the real estate, now you can prepare the documents to apply for the certificate of real property ownership. 

Final payment should be executed within 14 days once you’re notified about getting the pink book

FAQs about buying property in Vietnam

What fees do I need to pay when buying real estate in Vietnam?

Before being handed over the property, the buyer needs to pay the maintenance fee, which is equal to 2% of the total price of the house. Moreover, you also have to pay the registration cost, operation and management fees along with an extra installment.

Is the property prices in Vietnam high or low?

Real estate prices in Vietnam are usually considered low. In the central areas of the cities, you can get a property with an average price of $2.300. The real estate in the suburban areas only cost around $1.100. 

Can expats buy land in Vietnam?

Similar to most of the countries in the Southeast Asian countries, Vietnam doesn’t allow citizens with foreign nationality to buy and possess land. This also applies to the local Vietnamese people. The country’s constitution stated very clearly that the land is under the control of the government and is jointly possessed by all of the Vietnamese people.

Nevertheless, foreigners are permitted to lease the land for a period of 50 years or up to 99 years, depending on different cases.

How long do I have to wait to receive the pink book?

If no problem occurs, after 50 days since the handover of the real property, the purchaser will receive the pink book.

Above are some of the rules regarding foreigners buying property in Vietnam. Buying real estate in Vietnam might be challenging, even for local people. It’s a quite complicated process that requires you to have a certain understanding about the Vietnam Housing Law. Alpha Housing hopes that this topic will simplify the idea of purchasing a house in Vietnam for foreign citizens.