The Ho Chi Minh City Real Estate Association (HoREA) said last week that from 2015 to 2020, 17 major real estate developers in Vietnam sold 12,335 property units to foreigners, 81% of them in Ho Chi Minh City, and foreigners now own about 14, 000 ~ 16,000 apartments in Vietnam, or 2% of the total housing supply.
HOREA also said that foreigners buying property in Vietnam has not had any negative impact on the ability of local Vietnamese to buy property or caused any significant impact on property prices.
HOREA’s statistics how that there has not been a foreign ownership wave in the Vietnam property market in the last five years and that real estate developers have been adhering to the 30% foreign ownership limit that the government has set for real estate projects.
The statistics also show that foreigners tend to buy properties in the high-end segment real estate segment and that their demand in this segment has not created any major negative impact on low-income and medium-income locals looking to buy their own homes.
Vietnam currently allows foreigners to buy property, except land, but not more than 30% of a residential quarter or an apartment project, as long as the project is not located in areas deemed vital to national security and HOREA says this ratio should be maintained.
HOREA notes that most foreigners from Australia, Europe, Japan and North America prefer to rent when they come to work in Vietnam, while foreigners from mainland China, Hong Kong , Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan prefer to buy property.
HOREA’s data is contributing to the ongoing debate over whether Vietnam should increase its 30% cap on foreign ownership in real estate projects. Some real estate executives believe that as foreign direct investment in Vietnam continue to increase, that it will also increase demand for house ownership, and that whether they live in Vietnam for a short period of time, or long period, many foreigners consider property as an investment.
However, government law makers and officials have expressed concern over foreigners using Vietnamese citizens as buy real estate and exploit legal loopholes so that they can gain ownership and control over large areas of land.
Vietnam’s Ministry of Defense released a report in May that said that Chinese nationals and entities own more than 162,000 hectares of land in Vietnam via proxies. The land that has been bought by these people and entities is primarily in coastal areas such as Cam Ran, Da Nang and Nha Trang and that they are operating food and beverage, hospitality and tourism services on this land.