Foreigners will be allowed to buy houses and apartments in Vietnam, but only in limited quantity, according to a recently completed draft decree on foreign ownership of property in the Southeast Asian country.

Foreign individuals and organizations will be entitled to possess no more than 30 percent of the number of apartments in a condominium project in Vietnam, the Ministry of Construction said in its final draft of the document, intended to provide guidance to follow the law on housing.

The ministry left the document open for feedback and comment from February to March.The draft decree will be submitted to the government for finalization, the ministry said on its website. If foreign investors want to buy apartments from different condo projects within a ward-level locality, the maximum number of flats they are allowed to purchase will also be no more than 30 percent of the total number.

For instance, if there are five condo projects collectively consisting of 500 apartments, a foreign investor can only buy 150 apartments from them.

Foreigners will also be permitted to buy 10 percent of the total houses within a housing project in Vietnam, according to the draft decree.

The foreign ownership is valid for 50 years, and can be extended by the same term.

A foreign individual must have a valid passport with an immigration stamp to be eligible to buy a house or apartment in Vietnam, whereas an organization must have an investment license or an authorized permit for their operations in the country.

The documents must be valid at the time a home purchase is conducted.

However, the ministry noted, foreign individuals and organizations will only be able to buy houses or apartments from projects that are not located in restricted zones for defense reasons.

The Ministry of National Defense and Ministry of Public Security are in charge of determining such restricted zones.

The construction department of each province and city is responsible for making such restricted areas public on their websites for foreigners to make reference.

The Ministry of Construction did not elaborate on when it will submit the draft decree to the government, as well as a possible effective date.

But news website VnExpress said on Thursday the decree is expected to be issued by the end of this month and is slated to take effect in July, along with the law on housing, which was approved by Vietnam’s law-making National Assembly in November last year.



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