Bumps on the road to prosperity


Vietnam faces surging demand for property but legal and financial shortcomings deter investors and consumers


The fast-growing economy of Vietnam has opened tremendous opportunities for real estate investment but there are some challenging factors that overseas investors need to consider before jumping on the bandwagon.

Mr Quang said that amid the property boom, some challenges awaited including legal matters, land title problems, speculation, planning and investment procedures.

He said the legal framework had some limitations such as the legacy of the Communist central-planning system, spontaneous and ad-hoc state intervention, dual ownership of land and housing units, and overlapping responsibilities for land use title supervision and planning.

“Access to land-use rights is complicated, such as long-term use and leases on land,” he said.

In Vietnam, people cannot own a land plot but the government can grant them land-use rights. Five types of rights are available: right to transfer, mortgage, inherit, rent and transform land.

Mr Quang said the land-title situation was especially chaotic in urban areas because of unclear administrative responsibilities. People also had limitations in terms of access to formal land and housing.

As well, land information and records are not adequate while land registration and formalisation procedures are complicated. The government’s planning system is also rigid and the cost of land transfers is quite high.

Another challenge involves differences in pricing that distort the property market. Land value is determined by administrative measures rather than based on the market while land allocation through bidding is limited.

“We lack a market-based and independent valuation organisation,” he said. “The booming real estate market has built a lot of real estate brokers but few of them are professional.”

Mr Quang said the planning system was inefficient and ineffective as there was a lack of priority-setting. Little co-ordination exists among mechanisms related to socioeconomic planning, spatial planning, land use and sector planning.

“The government should allow public consultation and participation in plan preparation and implementation,” he said.

Constraints exist as well on investment procedures and land allocation. They are unclear and complicated while some regulations overlap.

Project and programme assessment and monitoring also need more appropriate mechanisms.

Other challenges include weakness of business capacity and professionalism, limited capital investment, a lack of market research and strategies, constraints on mortgages and access to financial markets, limited savings mobilisation for the formal real estate market, widespread speculation, inefficient land use and corruption and mismanagement.


2 Responses

  1. Yes, this is what I had suspected. I think this demonstrates the disconnect the government has from the reality of what is needed for real economic progress of the country.

  2. Doug thanks for your comment, I wish there was more comments so that a good discussion could begin about this or any other topic.

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