spend millions of dollars to buy houses in Vietnam.
A lot of expats in Vietnam have affirmed they will spend millions of dollars to buy houses here, denying the opinion that even if the government opens the real estate market to foreigners as proposed,
this would not attract foreigners, who believe that the real estate price in Vietnam is overly high.
Owning houses better than renting
Analysts have noted that the foreigners’ demand for possessing houses in Vietnam has been increasing rapidly.
Philip, a Canadian citizen, who now works as an English teacher for a foreign language center in Hanoi, said he has been living in Vietnam for three years, but he still has not been allowed to buy a house in Vietnam
Philip now still lives in a 100 square meter apartment in the West Lake area which he leases from a Vietnamese landlord. The rent alone costs him $2,000 a month, or VND40 million.
“The real estate price in Vietnam has become very reasonable. A high end apartment is priced at US$100,000-200,000, or VND2-4 billion,” he said.
“It would be better for me to buy an apartment in Vietnam than living in a rent one,” he added.
Alexander, an US expat in Vietnam, said a lot of his friends complained that they cannot find stable accommodations, though they have been here in Vietnam for 5-6 years.
Most of them are the engineers working for the projects which require senior experts.
Alexander himself finds it uncomfortable to live in rent houses in Vietnam. The rents are very high, about VND50-60 million a month for high end apartments, and VND20 million for lower quality ones.
The Vietnamese landlords can regularly raise the rents or ask the tenants to leave as soon as they find better clients.
The man said his friends are quite willing to spend millions of dollars to buy apartments
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Foreign money on the doorstep to the real estate market
A report by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment showed that 427 foreigners had bought houses in Vietnam under the pilot program on allowing foreigners to possess houses by February 1, 2013,
including 342 cases in HCM City. The figure proves to be too small if noting that there are 80,000 expats in Vietnam.
Lawyer Bui Quang Hung from the Bui Quang Hung & Associates Law Office, has confirmed that a lot of foreign subjects wants to buy houses in Vietnam.
They include the expats who plan to work for long term in Vietnam under the contracts with domestic companies and international groups.
He also said that foreigners want to buy houses not only for their accommodations but for leasing for money as well.
Nguyen Van Minh, Director of the Phat Dat Real Estate Trading Floor, said some his foreign clients are seeking to buy high end apartments, priced at VND8-10 billion.
“They said they would pay in cash as soon as they receive the apartments. However, I told them I could not help, because they were not the ones allowed to possess houses in Vietnam,” Minh said.
The Ministry of Construction, lawyers and real estate firms have been of the same mind about the necessity of setting up a new policy on allowing foreigners to buy houses.
Lawyer Hung said that the “open policy” would help attract a strong foreign cash flow to the real estate market,
which would serve as a big capital source for Vietnam.
Run-down apartment blocks face destruction
– The HCM City Department of Construction plans to tear down 70 dilapidated apartment buildings over the next two years.
Under the department's plan of renovating and building new apartment buildings, 61 of the 70 apartment buildings will be rebuilt and three of them renovated.
The remaining apartment buildings will be changed to buildings for trade and services.
All of these buildings were built before 1975 and are in danger of collapse.
This year, the plan targets to complete land clearance and compensation for 20 apartment buildings with 3,000 households.
The plan will rebuild seven apartment buildings that will have a total of 1,850 apartment units this year.
Next year, the city will complete land clearance and compensation for 18 apartment buildings that have a total of 465 households.
It will also begin to rebuild 22 apartment buildings that will have a total of 3,287 apartment units.
In 2015, the plan will complete land clearance and compensation for 32 apartment buildings that have a total of 3,789 households.
The plan will also rebuild 32 apartment buildings that will have a total of 4,734 apartment units in 2015.
The department has suggested several incentives to call on investors for the plan.
Investors who participate in the plan will be allowed to mobilise capital for new apartment buildings, excluding apartment buildings for relocation purposes and infrastructure, which will be managed by local administrations.
Participating investors will receive tax incentives and be exempted from fees paid for land-use rights and rent.
They will also be provided loans worth up to 70 per cent of the construction cost of their project from the Housing Development Fund.
The department has suggested that relocated people will be compensated with a new apartment that has the same area as their old apartment.
Thanh Da apartment buildings
Tran Trong Tuan, director of the city Department of Construction and leaders of the Binh Thanh District People's Committee last Wednesday
visited the Thanh Da apartment buildings complex to survey two apartment buildings of the 53-year-old complex in Binh Thanh District's Ward 27.
The two apartment buildings, block IV and block VI, have 285 apartments and are leaning toward each other.
Speaking to the visiting group officials, residents of the two buildings said their apartments had deteriorated.
Apartments on upper floors are leaning and apartments on ground floors are often submerged 30-40 cm under water when there are high tides, they said.