Starting this weekend, foreigners in Vietnam’s capital city can get 50-year certificates of land use rights and home ownership. This is a significant development in a communist country where the land belongs to the people.
The Hanoi People’s Committee will not grant foreign ownership for farmland or public parks or gardens, and the ownership certificates ultimately expire. Even so, it’s hard to imagine the regulatory structure being anything like it is today in fast-moving Vietnam a half century from now.
Economics appears to be a driver of the new policy. Vietnam is experiencing a prolonged stagnation in real estate values.
Under current regulations, a foreigner is allowed to lease land on a long-term basis, but they cannot own houses; there are 427 exceptions countrywide, but very few foreign home-ownership permissions have been granted over the past five years.
In any case, opening home ownership to foreigners in Hanoi could be a turning point for Vietnam’s dismal real estate market.