Here are our most frequently asked questions about buying, selling, and renting real estate in Thailand.
Can a foreigner buy a condo / apartment in Thailand?
You can buy a condo direct from a developer or a second-hand apartment as a foreigner in your own name (Freehold) as long as the development is 51% owned by Thai. The only restrictions on purchasing an apartment in foreign name, are the percentage of units sold to foreigners cannot exceed forty nine percent (49%) of the total floor area in the condominium development and that the currency used to buy the condo must originate from outside of Thailand, you will also need to produce a credit advice from the bank proving that the funds came from abroad.
Another option available for foreigners to own property in Thailand is to purchase a long-term lease. Whilst the terms and conditions can vary between condominiums and property developers, the initial agreement is normally set at 30 years, with the right to renew for a further 30 plus 30 years giving you a total of 90 years and in some cases even a total of 120 years. The price of a leasehold unit is normally between 10 to 15% cheaper than a foreign freehold.
Can I own a house or land in Thailand in my own name?
Although Thai law prohibits foreigners from owning land in Thailand, there are various ways in which you can structure your ownership so that you can own land, and still comply with existing Thai laws: (Thai Company Ownership)
If you decide this is the best option for you, be aware that as a foreigner, the maximum share of the company you can own is 49% and the remainder will need to be split with nominated Thai Partners with you nominated as controlling director of the company. It is advised that you contact a lawyer who will set up the company for you.
What is the average cost of a condo or a house in Phuket?
Depending on the size and location a Condo in Patong ranges from 110,000 to 170,000 Thai Baht per sqm. Whereas if you purchase a condo 10 to 15 minutes away from Patong the prices start from 65,000 to 80,000 Thai Baht per sqm. Likewise a house outside of Patong would be considerably cheaper.
How much are the maintenance fees and what do they cover?
Maintenance fees are normally paid One year in advance. The fees average between 50 to 65 Thai Baht per sqm. The fees will cover the common area, like the swimming pool, gardens, hallways, lifts, building insurance (common area only).
Why should I buy a property in Thailand?
Apart from Thailand being an excellent place to have a second holiday home many foreigners choose to retire in Thailand due to the great weather, sandy beaches restaurants and nightlife, golf course etc . Another reason why to buy property in Thailand is that Thai developers are offering between 7%-10% return on your investment in which currently it beats leaving your money in a bank or any other high-risk investment schemes.
Can I get a mortgage on a property?
Most banks will not give a mortgage to a foreigner unless you have a Thai person who is willing to act as a guarantor for you.
However, if you purchase a house or a condo off plan from a developer, they will often give you a short-term loan ranging from 2 to 4 years at zero percent interest rate.
Can I open a bank account in Thailand?
Yes, this is quite straight forward as long as you have a valid sales and purchase contract for your condo or house. The other option is if you are working here then you would need to provide a copy of your work permit and passport.
Will I get a visa if I buy a property in Thailand?
In general, the answer is no. However, if you invest 10 Million Thai Baht or more then you can apply for a business visa.
Last year, Thailand experienced a record number of tourist arrivals – 32.6 million (up 9 per cent year-on-year), generating 1.6 trillion baht in revenue (up 12.6 per cent year-on-year).
As we go further into 2018, occupancy rates for rental properties over the high season look good – albeit slightly lower than previous years – especially for pool villas, which seem to be like gold dust right now. In some respects, 2017 was a tremulous year, both in Phuket and abroad. However, many seem to hold a positive view for the year ahead. Thailand, while going through a period of transition, has once again proven itself to be resilient, with tourist arrivals at record highs, a stable currency and one of the best performing equity markets in 2016 (up 20 per cent year-on-year). With elections, due in early 2019 and infrastructure improvements planned, the outlook is positive. On a global scale, 2017 – under a Trump presidency and most likely populist policies – will improve the American economy. The US stock market clearly thinks so and a healthy US economy will be good for the global economy, generating 1.6 trillion baht in revenue (up 12.6 per cent year-on-year).
As we go further into 2018, occupancy rates for rental properties over the high season look good – albeit slightly lower than previous years – especially for pool villas, which seem to be like gold dust right now.