3 useful FAQs for foreign buyers in Vietnam

Vietnam is one of Southeast Asia’s premier emerging markets. From 2014 to 2016, Vietnam’s economy recovered, with strong GDP growth of 5.4%, 6.0% and 6.7% mostly due to the implementation of effective monetary policy. The positive signals of the economy and new updated land laws have led to a significant growth in demand from foreign buyers aiming to own properties in Vietnam. 

1. What are the regulations on foreign property ownership in Vietnam?

    • Current Law: effective 1 July 2015 
    • Who: Foreigners permitted entry to Vietnam. 
    • Property: Residential properties: apartments and landed houses 
        • 30% total units of any apartment development 
        • 10% of landed villa and/or housing project stock 
        • 250 landed properties in one administrative ward 
    • Duration: 50 year leasehold with extension, subject to authority approval 
    • Purpose: Living, sale, lease, inheritance, gift or donation.
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2. Why open a local bank account?

To ensure more seamless transfer for local property purchases, foreign investors are advised to set up a local bank account. There are many international banks in Vietnam such as: ANZ, Citi Bank, HSBC and Standard Chartered.

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3. What taxes are involved?

A foreigner is responsible to directly declare and pay tax at the district tax bureau where the property is located. A third party may be legally authorized to act on their behalf. 


  • Value added tax (VAT): 10% VAT is applied on any property sale whether local or foreigner. 
  • Administration fees: A minor fee is payable for property ownership certificate issuance. 
  • Ownership registration tax: 0.5% registration tax against property value to obtain the ownership ‘pink book’ certificate. 

Maintenance fee / sinking fund: 

  • Maintenance fees are referred to as a ‘sinking fund’ and are contributed to by development unit buyers. 
  • Fees are for major building and common area servicing to maintain development quality standards. 
  • Current sinking fund fees are 2% of the house/apartment price, before VAT. 


Personal income tax: Personal income earned through assignment or apartment/houses resale requires 2% personal income tax paid on the transacted value. 


  • Personal income tax: Personal income earned through house/apartment rental requires 5% VAT and 5% PIT on revenue be paid. 
  • For rental income exceeding VND 100 million pa, a business license tax of VND 1,000,000 per year applies.
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