By Mandy Chen
Why indeed should you invest in Thailand?
Located in the heart of South East Asia with a population of over 69 million people, Thailand is regarded as the second largest growing economic market and serves as a gateway connecting SEA to the rest of the world. Thailand’s capital Bangkok is the largest city in ASEAN with a population of more than 9 million. The GDP per Capita in Thailand was last recorded at USD 6,361 in 2018, which is equivalent to 50% of the world’s average.
Thailand ranked No.2 in ASEAN in terms of GDP in 2018 and has attracted huge sums of investment from countries such as China, Japan and Korea. With the influx of foreigners into Thailand property is one of the top choices to consider. We’ve listed down some of the reasons why you should invest in Thailand’s real estate.
Known as “the Spain of the East”, Thailand has always been one of the most popular spots for holidaymakers and investors. Its capacity to attract tourists isn’t limited to the appeal of its stunning beaches, vibrant lifestyle and unlimited shopping choices. The charm of Thailand’s beautiful destinations continuously attracts tourists to Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Pattaya and other beautiful cities and tropical destinations, making it a significantly beneficial investor hotspot for investors to sell and rent real estate in Thailand.
Last year, Thailand welcomed a record-breaking number of more than 35 million visitors from all over the world, maintaining its position as Asia’s most visited tourist destination. High-demand areas for foreigners in Thailand are the beach resorts such as Phuket and Pattaya, the city of Bangkok and Chiang Mai, the country´s second-largest city. With the expanding tourism industry, we are seeing tremendous growth in demand for short-term rental contracts and holiday homes, in particular for those close to BTS stations.
The Bangkok River is considered a royal status landmark and is popular amongst both locals and foreigners. Numerous retirees and second homeowners, in particular, choose to invest here to enjoy the scenic views from luxury condominiums located by the riverside. The river is home to a number of Bangkok’s tourist destinations, including the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew Temple, ICON SIAM and Asiatique mall, as well as 5-star hotels including Mandarin Oriental and the Four Seasons.
The Thailand real estate market is expected to grow by 6 to 8 percent. The government plans to further enhance the transportation infrastructure (Mass Rapid Transit for both BTS Skytrain and MRT Subway) in Bangkok and notwithstanding a USD 45 Billion investment to develop the Eastern Economic Corridor. This is in time with the recent increase in the influx of foreign investors entering Bangkok and Pattaya, especially from China.
Property prices & capital appreciation
Generally, properties in China, Singapore and Hong Kong are higher in cost as compared to the Real estate in Thailand. Thailand’s property market also ranks as one of Asia’s most popular amongst Chinese investors. According to recent data from the online Chinese real estate portal Juwai.com, Thailand was the most popular country in the world when it comes to inquiries from potential real estate buyers in 2018 — climbing up from the sixth spot in 2016. Thailand was the fourth-most-popular country for real estate investment with $2.3 billion coming in from Chinese sources. Bangkok is positioned for huge growth in its property sector, attracting overseas investments and regional headquarters keen to tap into the city’s economic potential.
As a result of high property demand, prices on islands such as Pattaya, Phuket or Hua Hin have gone up. Property prices have even doubled in certain areas of downtown Bangkok like Ratchathewi and Thonglor since 2013.
According to CBRE Thailand, properties close to mass rapid transport such as MRT and BTS will likely continue to surge in price due to the high demand from local and foreign home buyers coupled with the scarcity of good sites in central Bangkok.
Properties located closer to a BTS Skytrain station will be worth a premium as high as double or triple that of a similar property which isn’t. The same goes for those condominiums located next to the MRT subway line, but not as much when compared to a BTS station. A condominium unit that’s located 100 meters from a central mass transit station is unlikely to be sold for below 200,000 baht per square meter.
When a condo building is located more than a kilometer away from a mass transport station, the price is reduced by as much as half.
Invest in freehold properties
In Thailand, local quota caps at 51% and foreigners are allowed to purchase and own freehold condominiums up to 49% of the total number of units in the project. Unlike countries like Cambodia and Vietnam where foreigners can only purchase leasehold properties up to certain years. Upon purchase, foreign buyers receive the same title deed as a Thai owner would. Hence buying a freehold condominium is the ideal option for those who are looking for a long-term investment with 100% ownership.
Friendlier Thailand law
Thailand is friendly towards foreign investments, unlike most countries where foreigners may be required to pay additional property tax. In terms of taxes and fees, the buyer acquisition cost for off the plan is only at 1% of the property price – ie transfer fees, Juristic fees (ie one year of the maintenance fee in advance), Management fee and sinking fund with no foreign stamp duty or legal fees involved. Recent contracts are written in both Thai and English.
Besides the attractive tax structure for foreign buyers, it is relatively easy for property owners to sell their Thai home. You can sell to anyone be it a local or a foreigner, there is no restriction and no seller stamp duty or any minimum investment period, which is another reason why so many foreign investors favour Thailand in comparison to investing in traditional markets such as London, Australia or Singapore, where there are often additional foreign stamp duty, taxes, and fees to purchase or sell a property. This competitive tax structure coupled with the comparatively low entry price point makes it attractive for foreigners to enter the Thai property market. Hence this made Thailand become one of the top choices amongst real estate investors worldwide.
On the surface, Thailand is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. The swathes of white sandy beaches, the developed tourism industry, its rich culture and not forgetting its food reputation are factors for the Kingdom acquiring this claim. But scratch a bit deeper and there are significant other economical reasons why Thailand is the place to invest.
If you wish to invest in the many opportunities in Thailand, simply register with us, and our IQI agents will contact you as soon as possible.
Did you know we also have an office in the heart of Thailand? Drop by and say hi!