Even as an expat, owning an apartment for some is a dream that can make more sense than renting one. With the top two reasons for buying an apartment worldwide financial and lifestyle, there are some real advantages to buying, but until 2015, that was a difficult dream to attain in Vietnam. At that time, expats were only permitted to own one condo unit for self dwelling purposes only with a mountain of restrictions and paperwork. The good news is that since 2015, Vietnam has made it significantly easier for foreigners to buy apartments. Today, foreigners can purchase apartments simply by holding a valid tourist visa as you do not need to be a resident of Vietnam to own property. Foreigners may also buy as many condo units as they can afford, provided that the overall number of apartments in a building is 70% Vietnamese owned.
You can also buy selected landed-houses, renting the land for 50 years. So with the top two reasons for buying an apartment, financial and lifestyle, it is easy to see why more foreigners are now choosing to buy. Vietnam has a buoyant housing market. Foreigners who purchase apartments in Vietnam can rent out their units, assured of a strong rental yield, or hold onto them to resell later. If you enjoy renovating and the apartment is your own, you can freely create a home that matches the lifestyle you want, whilst the home improvements that you do will only increase the value of your property.
What are the factors to consider when looking to buy in Vietnam
Understand the type of investment you are considering
Assess your average budget
Define your investment schedule
Consider Property Management services to support you if you lease your apartment.
Can I sign the purchase documents remotely, or do I need to travel to Vietnam?
Expat property owners need to travel to Vietnam at least once, for at least half a day, as you need to prove that you can enter Vietnam legally (valid visa or resident card). You can travel to Vietnam first and make a purchase decision remotely.
Does the law authorise foreigners to buy property legally in Vietnam?
The Housing Law (Housing Law No. 65/2014/QH13), which came into effect on July 1, 2015, allows foreigners to purchase real estate in Vietnam. Foreigners enjoy the same rights as Vietnamese citizens to lease, transfer or sell a property. There are some essential steps usually requiring some support: due diligence of the property, preparation of mandatory documents for the buyer and seller (identity card/passport, invoices, sales contract, handover record), signing the deposit agreement, and reviewing the contract or Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA) in Vietnamese and English.
Would I be able to sell or lease my property?
Indeed, you can sell or lease your property in Ho Chi Minh City
What is the market price?
Prices vary in Ho Chi Minh City from $3,000 to $10,000+ per square meter, depending on the location, the developer, the property segment, and whether you buy on the primary or secondary market.
What taxes and costs should I pay?
The tax structure is especially favourable in Vietnam for property investments. There is no property tax and no capital gains tax. Also, notary fees are moderate, with none for brand new developments and negligible amounts for the second-hand market. Only once you opt to sell your property will there be a 2% income tax applicable to the price.
So whether you wish to own a property in Vietnam for financial or lifestyle reasons, or both, today it makes perfect sense for foreigners to purchase property in Vietnam. The dream to own your home and to make a profitable investment can quite easily be the reality.
Guest Contributor, Mr Malik N’Diaye,
Founder, My Saigon City Real Estate, HCMC, Vietnam
Contact Malik at www.mysaigoncity.com