Statistics of the municipal Department of Construction revealed that only 15 Viet kieu (overseas Vietnamese) and foreigners were granted house ownership certificates in the city during the past two years.
The figure was too modest compared to the number of overseas Vietnamese and foreigners who lived and worked in Ho Chi Minh City
, the department said.
Experts said that this was caused by complicated procedures, as well as slow progress in identifying areas and projects, which cannot be sold to foreigners.
Only 15 overseas Vietnamese and foreigners were granted house ownership certificates in Ho Chi Minh City during the past two years.
Tran Hoa Phuong, Deputy Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City Overseas Vietnamese Committee, said that the most difficult procedure was still in identity confirmation.
The confirmation of identity for overseas Vietnamese was jointly conducted by the Vietnam embassies, the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs and provincial/municipal judicial departments of foreign countries, Phuong said.
Phuong added that the money transfer from foreign countries to Vietnam also needed to be in compliance with the laws.
Expert, Nguyen Tri Hieu, said the regulations must be more open while the promotion of projects, which can be owned by foreigners, must be enhanced.
Deputy Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, Tran Vinh Tuyen, in a document sent to relevant departments urged them to speed up the identification of areas which cannot be owned by foreigners, to ensure national security.
The Department of Construction must clarify the list of commercial housing projects, which cannot be sold to foreigners and make it public on the department’s e-portal, he said.
The legal framework for the Department of Natural Resources and Environment to grant ownership certificates to overseas Vietnamese and foreigners must also be improved, he added.
Statistics of the Ho Chi Minh City
Real Estate Association revealed that around 22 per cent of remittances into the southern city flew into real estate.
Industry insiders believe that removing more barriers would create more interest in the local housing market.
Encouraged by fast economic growth, supportive government policies and low entry costs, housing prices in the country’s two largest cities, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, have seen considerable growth in recent years.
Data from real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle showed that in Ho Chi Minh City, new apartment prices grew 6.9 percent in the first quarter of 2017, and 7.3 percent in Hanoi.
It now forecasts 8 to 10 percent annual growth in residential value in the country’s major cities this year.
“On the back of its economic improvement and with a GDP target of 6.7 percent in 2017, market sentiment is very positive,” said Stephen Wyatt, the country head of JLL Vietnam.
“Foreign buyers typically like the new urban districts such as Ho Chi Minh City’s District 2 and District 7,” he said. “And many investors from mainland China are hoping to see these cities replicate the same growth as Beijing and Shanghai.”
There is also a trend to buy second homes in coastal areas such as Da Nang, he added.