The Ministry of Construction's proposal that real estate ownership be limited to 50 years has been criticised by concerned authorities and members of the public.
However, Nguyen Manh Ha, Director of the ministry's Housing Administration and Real Estate Department, said no official announcement had been made.
Ha said all strata of society should be encouraged to own property but added that it should not be forgotten that house-ownership and land were closely linked and that the nation's land was owned by the people of Viet Nam.
The State has permitted long-term land use of 50 years to 70 years, after which the land reverts back to the State.
Ha added that proposed extensions to the time residents could own property had not been introduced in the draft Housing Law to be amended in 2012.
Nguyen Quoc Khanh, General Director of DTJ Real Estate Joint Stock Company, said many countries imposed restrictions on residential ownership. However, he said a limit of 50 years in Viet Nam would hit demand for property – particularly high-end.
Khanh said if the ministry wanted to limit the amount of time residential property could be owned, it needed to formulate comprehensive regulations and create favourable conditions for investors, ranging from site clearance to land rent. This would encourage real estate firms to invest in the property sector and residents to buy, he said.
Meanwhile, Dao Chung Chinh, Deputy General Director of the Land Administration Department, said the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources had asked for input on limiting the amount of time land could be used for real estate development.
Although many countries around the world have limitations on the length of time land and property can be owned, the system would not be feasible in Viet Nam, he said that residents would be reluctant to let go of their property.
Nguyen Quynh Hoa, a resident in Cau Giay District, said residents in Viet Nam expected to be able to leave their property to their relatives.
Dang Hung Vo, a land administration expert, said he supported the proposal because it would help tackle obstacles to urban real estate development.
Vo added that it would also help to end land and property speculation and reduce prices.