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Foreigner’s guide to investing in Vietnam real estate


Vietnam has emerged as one of the most promising investment destinations for foreigners among the ASEAN countries since joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2007. The Vietnamese government encourages establishing foreign-owned businesses while keeping the country’s law in mind. Although the laws and process are a bit complicated, foreigners are officially allowed to own and operate their own businesses in Vietnam.

In the past, not many foreigners could manage to invest in Vietnam real estate due to strict foreign ownership rules and regulations. This phase became easier when the government of the country launched the Vietnamese Law on Residential Housing (LRH) in July 2015.

Having a basic overview would help foreigners to invest in Vietnam real estate and participate in this process. So, if you are a foreigner and willing to invest in Vietnam, this article is for you.


A quick look into the key points of LRH

  • A foreigner can buy properties when he/she is permitted to enter Vietnam.
  • They can invest both directly and indirectly. Direct foreign investments include the businesses that are wholly owned by the outsiders. On the other hand, indirect investments include the individuals or companies that can invest through stocks or buy shares or use other intermediate financial instruments.
  • There are restrictions for the foreign nationals to buy a maximum of 30% of the units in condominiums. In landed projects, they cannot buy more than 10% of the properties. The ownership of properties can be from developers and also directly from the other foreigners who previously bought it from Vietnam. However, foreigners are not encouraged to buy property from local citizens in case the foreign quota is filled (30%).

  • A foreigner should receive an ownership certificate when a property is purchased from the developer. This certificate is often referred to as the pink book. Although it is not a legal requirement to have one, it is important for foreigners to have it. When foreigners have the pink book, it serves as proof that they have the rights to use the house for their own purposes. They can also demolish, renovate or rebuild their house as per the law.
  • The leasehold period is 50 years, although it can be renewed.
  • When a foreigner has a Vietnamese spouse, he/she can get a freehold tenure.
  • Not unlike other Southeast Asian countries, they cannot buy land in Vietnam. Only the Vietnamese can own the land that is governed by the state.

Read more:10 Things You Need to Know About Buying a Home Overseas

Process while investing in Vietnam real estate

1. Doing research according to the need

A little bit of research can easily dissolve many hassles during the process. First and foremost, a person should know the reason why he/she is going to invest in the property market and find a place according to their need. Not all places are suitable for everyone’s needs. So, by doing research he/she can make proper use of the place depending on whether he/she wants to attract foreign companies or live comfortably in peace.

2. Finding a real estate agent

A real estate agent can be very helpful for a foreigner who wants to step into the property market, although it can be a little difficult to find an English speaking agent in Vietnam. However, it will be a smooth ride if you are able to find one.

3. Hiring a property lawyer

A property lawyer is important when larger transactions are needed.

4. Holding the information of the developer

When starting a new project, the developer will announce basic information about it; for instance: the location, type, number of units, fees, etc. of the project. The buyer has to get hold of this information with the help of the agent.

This step is not included in the resale market.

5. Paying the booking fee

A booking fee needs to be paid to the developers when the project is announced. The buyer and the agent both will attend the event. This fee is refundable.

6. Visiting the official sales event

The people who have a booking number will be allowed to take part in the official sales event. During this event, the developer will announce the detailed information about the design, floor plan, sales prices, etc. However, it is not mandatory to attend the event in person. The agent can stand in place of the buyer.

7. Signing the deposit agreement and SPA

If the buyer chooses a unit and decides to buy it, he/she has to sign a deposit agreement around 2-3 weeks after the sales event. An amount of the unit value needs to be paid during the signing of the agreement. Then, Sales & Purchase Agreement (SPA) needs to be signed around 3-6 months after paying the deposit agreement. An additional amount will then have to be paid.

Before getting the unit, a maintenance fee of the purchase value and 1 year of management and operation charges will also have to be paid. The payment schedule varies for all developers.

The agent will assist on when and how the buyer transfers money to Vietnam by opening a bank account and applying for property loans.

Happy investing!


It might be tough for a foreigner to invest in overseas property, but with the right guidance, it is achievable. Our team of professionals at Juwai.Asia will assist you in any way possible for you to achieve your real estate dreams. Don't be hesitant in reaching out to us, head down and send in your inquiry!

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