11 July, 2016
Often compared to the European Union (EU), the AEC is a community formed in order to promote economic integration in South East Asia. The aim of this community is to create a market where member countries are able to develop competitively and cooperate with fewer barriers including free movement of goods, services, investment, freer flow of capital as well as substantial growth in workforce and demanding occupations. In order to achieve this, there are several tasks that need to be fulfilled such as diminishing the gap between developed and developing nations or enhancing communications connectivity and infrastructure.
Due to this, it is expected that the AEC would have a significant impact on the members’ economies in general, and on their real estate sectors in particular; and Vietnam is not an exception. Considering market fluctuations, it can be seen that an excessive amount of foreign capital has been invested into properties recently. In reality, until June 2015, a total of $16.6 billion from ASEAN investors had been poured into this market, despite the fact that AEC was not formed until December last year. This is partly because of the recently applied Housing Law and the Law on Real Estate Business which allow foreign investors to legally own, sell and transfer real properties. Regardless, the influence of AEC is undeniable. Also, similar trends were found in other ASEAN nations including Thailand or Singapore.
This has led many experts to predict that the involvement of Vietnam in AEC would result in prosperity in the real estate market. Vietnam can well compete with its ASEAN member countries in the Real Estate sector.
Vietnam has the most liberalized Real Estate Sector of all Asia allowing free hold ownership of land and houses for foreigners who are married to Vietnamese nationals.
There are still a number of challenges ahead of us such as weak management or lack of skilled labors and unclear procedures. As a result, although with its diversity, the ASEAN real estate market is an attractive destination to several investors, individual countries including Vietnam are required to improve systematically in order to compete in the global market.
For further information, please contact:
Oliver Massmann, Partner, Duane Morris