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Vietnam sees growing demand for home abroad   2009-07-26 - Thanh Nien

The housing market slump in the US and Asia has given wealthy Vietnamese the opportunity to own a home abroad, but the government’s forex regulations have restricted the trend, realtors say.

 

 

Do Thi Loan, secretary general of Ho Chi Minh City Real Estate Association, said she knew many groups of Vietnamese who had traveled to the US to study the real estate market as they were interested in taking advantage of falling prices to buy a home.

“The demand is still small, but highly potential,” Loan said Saturday at an international real estate conference and exhibition in HCMC.

She said real estate prices in some US areas were six or seven times lower than those in Vietnamese high-end areas like HCMC’s Phu My Hung.

Managing director of CB Richard Ellis Vietnam Marc Townsend told Thanh Nien Daily that some well-off

Vietnamese wanted to own properties abroad so their family or relatives could stay for education, medical treatment, or holidays.

On the other hand, others wanted to buy overseas homes as an investment, he told Thanh Nien Daily at the conference.

In any case, they form a potential market for developers in the US and Asia, he said.

According to Loan, some governments have even encouraged foreigners to own homes in their countries in order to boost the real estate market.

However, potential Vietnamese buyers are not allowed to make payments overseas for real estate, according to existing regulations that aim to prevent a foreign exchange drain, according to Townsend.

They can only bring a certain amount of foreign exchange on overseas trips.

As a result, some Vietnamese buying homes overseas have had to pay in installments, he said.



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