A revised version of the Housing Law will soon allow foreigners and overseas Vietnamese to buy houses in Vietnam.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has agreed that the Ministry of Construction will introduce the revised regulation.

Currently, buying a house in Vietnam is difficult for foreigners.

Minister of Construction Trinh Dinh Dung noted that one of the most important features of the revised Housing Law is including the requirements and conditions for overseas Vietnamese, foreign individuals and organisations to buy houses in Vietnam.

The final draft of the law comes after extensive revisions to 80 articles and three chapters, Minister Dung said, adding that the change in the housing law is expected to mobilise capital resources, technology and management expertise to help the development of the country and the real estate market.

Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh said that, in the past, he had urged the Ministry of Construction to speak to the government about permitting the sale of houses to foreigners to reduce the real estate market's inventory, especially of luxury apartments and villas.

Vinh pointed out that around 130,000 Koreans currently live in Vietnam ; they have to rent houses owned by Vietnamese landlords because foreigners are not permitted to purchase houses in the country. However, most local landlords refrain from leasing to foreigners.

Vinh suggested that the government should permit foreigners to buy houses and own them for 50 to 70 years, as per Vietnam 's regulations.

Vinh acknowledged that allowing foreigners to buy houses offers one possible solution for easing some of the problems faced by the real estate market, especially in the high-end apartment segment, next year.

According to the construction ministry's report, most of the nearly 120 foreigners who own houses in Vietnam are married to Vietnamese citizens.-VNA