Laos property lures foreign buyers

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Vientiane propertyBuoyed by a number of large mall and mixed-use developments under construction, land prices across Laos’ capital Vientiane rose by an average of 15 per cent in 2012 over the previous year, mostly due to demand by foreign buyers, the Financial Times reported. Along the Mekong, particularly in the Sisattanak district favoured by embassies, businesses and NGOs, land prices leapt 50 per cent.

Land prices are also being boosted by speculation, especially by overseas buyers who use Lao nominees to circumvent a ban on foreign land ownership. Chinese, Vietnamese and South Korean people buy in the name of a Lao person, local property experts say.

Foreign ownership restrictions deter many expatriates from buying in Vientiane but there are increasing numbers of people from France, Switzerland and the US – drawn by the city’s relaxed charm, low property prices and cheap living costs – coming to buy retirement homes. They’re buying houses from Lao owners on 30-year leasehold agreements with the contractual arrangement that if the law changes they’d be able to buy outright.

A significant amount of real estate activity is undertaken by diplomatic missions and NGOs in the form of villas and leased apartments for their own operations as well as residences for their expat employees. Over the past ten years Laos has undertaken a significant amount of hydropower development and is serving the energy needs of its neighbours as well as becoming an important mining destination and logistical hub for regional trade. Many companies involved in these sectors, especially from Vietnam, China and Thailand, have now located their head offices in Vientiane. A plethora of banks have sprung up in the capital to serve the needs of these investors.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Buoyed by a number of large mall and mixed-use developments under construction, land prices across Laos’ capital Vientiane rose by an average of 15 per cent in 2012 over the previous year, mostly due to demand by foreign buyers, the Financial Times reported. Along the Mekong, particularly in the Sisattanak district favoured by embassies, businesses and NGOs, land prices leapt 50 per cent.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Vientiane propertyBuoyed by a number of large mall and mixed-use developments under construction, land prices across Laos’ capital Vientiane rose by an average of 15 per cent in 2012 over the previous year, mostly due to demand by foreign buyers, the Financial Times reported. Along the Mekong, particularly in the Sisattanak district favoured by embassies, businesses and NGOs, land prices leapt 50 per cent.

Land prices are also being boosted by speculation, especially by overseas buyers who use Lao nominees to circumvent a ban on foreign land ownership. Chinese, Vietnamese and South Korean people buy in the name of a Lao person, local property experts say.

Foreign ownership restrictions deter many expatriates from buying in Vientiane but there are increasing numbers of people from France, Switzerland and the US – drawn by the city’s relaxed charm, low property prices and cheap living costs – coming to buy retirement homes. They’re buying houses from Lao owners on 30-year leasehold agreements with the contractual arrangement that if the law changes they’d be able to buy outright.

A significant amount of real estate activity is undertaken by diplomatic missions and NGOs in the form of villas and leased apartments for their own operations as well as residences for their expat employees. Over the past ten years Laos has undertaken a significant amount of hydropower development and is serving the energy needs of its neighbours as well as becoming an important mining destination and logistical hub for regional trade. Many companies involved in these sectors, especially from Vietnam, China and Thailand, have now located their head offices in Vientiane. A plethora of banks have sprung up in the capital to serve the needs of these investors.

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