Real Estate Investments in Thailand

Real Estate Investments in Thailand, buying Vacation Homes, Thai Real Estate Agency Directory, Foreign Property Ownership in Thailand and off-plan Condominium Purchase.
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Buying and Selling Thai Condos Off Plan

Many condo units are sold by the developer before or during the construction period. Buyers enjoy steep discounts by doing that, and the developer gets easier access to loans along with the ability to say their project is “selling out”. It usually takes between three to five years for a condo building to finish construction from the time sales first begin. Because of this, there’s a market in buying Thai condo units off-plan and selling them at a profit when the building is near completion. You can purchase and transfer the right to buy a condo unit after construction is finished. It’s not necessary to wait until construction finishes before offloading your property. Or at least its sales agreement.

To reserve a unit and sign the contracts, you often only need to make a down payment of 10% along with another 10% gradually over the course of a few years. Installments are payable on a monthly basis. Across a period of several years, property values can appreciate significantly. There have been cases of people buying Thai condominium units off-plan and selling the contracts years before completion at premiums above 100%. But it also has inherent risks. The worst-case scenario is that you must abandon the contract, lose your down payment and any installments.

That could theoretically happen if, for example, Thai property values fall substantially or you don’t have enough liquid cash available to complete the transfer. While the second scenario would be ones’ own fault, the first one happened en masse during the Asian financial crisis.

Additional Expenses

A condo in Thailand doesn’t have an annual property tax payable on them. With that said, any condominium will have an annual management fee for the building’s upkeep, electricity costs, staff and cleaning. It’s not a tax. Yet that’s still money you must pay every single year when owning real estate in Thailand. The precise cost of a management fee depends on your building’s size, density, and standards. If you’re buying a mid-range Thai condo, expect to pay about 500 baht per square meter every year.

When transferring property, there’s a 2% fee based on its government appraised value (which should be lower than the price you paid for it). Typically, half that fee is paid by the buyer and half by the seller. A stamp duty of 0.5% must also be paid upon transferring any real estate in Thailand. Stamp duty is usually paid by the seller.

However, if a property is sold within 5 years of being acquired then a “Specific Business Tax” of 3.3% is instead payable. If a specific business tax is payable, then stamp duty does not need to be paid and you’ll instead pay that higher 3.3% fee.

If you choose to rent out your property in Thailand, rental income taxes are extremely low as there are many deductions. Your exact amount of tax payable will depend on any deductions allowed. More often than not though, rental tax isn’t greater than 5% and sometimes far less. If you ask most local landlords, they will probably say they don’t calculate or pay the tax and no one ever bothers them.

Security Issues

Thailand has rather strong property ownership laws (at least compared to most other places in the region) and a secure, computerized title system. So you shouldn’t have any issues with the government. If a problem is going to come up at all, it’s going to be from the condo development company, real estate agent, or seller.

There are about two dozen large property developers in Thailand with a solid reputation and many completed projects under their belts. You likely won’t have major issues with developers of this type – at least not a problems that they won’t eventually fix. But you’re in more dangerous territory if you’re dealing with smaller companies. Any developer should have at least a completed project or two that was built to good standards with satisfied customers.

I strongly recommend getting a third-party inspector after your property is built and ready to be transferred. It’s rare for a condo unit to be transferred in perfect condition with absolutely no problems at all. Thai inspectors will know what to look for and can add value worth far more than what you’ll pay for their services. If the inspector finds defects, the condo developer will fix them free-of-charge. Almost all condo developers give a warranty period of at least a year or two. Yet they are eager to fix problems if you mention them when money is still on the table, before transfer occurs.
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Bangkok Lumpini Park Area
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Real Estate Investments in Bangkok by Location

For centuries, Bangkok has served as a main entry point for foreign traders and businessmen into Southeast Asia. While the city has obviously changed since the 1700s, its current status as one of Asia’s most important cities is no different. Bangkok is so large that several of its neighborhoods have their own “sub-markets”, each with their own norms, occupancy rates, prices and outlook. Centrality and access matter more than anything. So buying a property in Bangkok’s suburb of Bangna is completely different than buying one in the prime-city center area of Lumpini. It’s not practical to cover every one of Bangkok’s neighborhoods in a single article. Thus, only a select few areas will be mentioned. General rules exist for buying property anyway in Bangkok though.

Real estate 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. Condominiums located next to the MRT subway line also go for a premium, albeit not as much when compared to a BTS station. A condo 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 500 meters away or above from a mass tranport station, the price premium is reduced by as much as half. It vanishes altogether for property more than a kilometer away. The best locations in Bangkok are:
  • Lumpini Park
    As arguably Bangkok’s most exclusive area, Lumpini Park and its surrounding streets (Wireless Road, Soi Langsuan, etc.) are also some of the most expensive neighborhoods of the city. New property developments on Wireless Road, for example, have been known to reach prices as expensive as 500,000 baht per square meter. The reason for these high values is that Lumpini is incredibly central, yet also rather quiet and leafy. Streets are manicured while Lumpini Park – inner Bangkok’s largest green area – adds a sense of calm hard to find elsewhere in the CBD. Wireless Road’s embassies help make the neighborhood safe, less noisy, and spacious too. The American, Vietnamese, and British embassies among others are all nearby. But Lumpini is located between prime areas despite its relative serenity. Namely, the business districts of Silom and Sathorn, the commercial center of Siam, and the many dining options of Sukhumvit. You won’t ever have problems finding a BTS station in Lumpini, needless to say.
  • Silom | Sathorn
    Silom and Sathorn districts are where most of Bangkok’s finance institutions and multinational companies are based. As such, the areas are popular with both wealthy locals and expats who work in Bangkok. Because it serves as Bangkok’s main central business district (CBD), prices are obviously high. Those who live in Silom and Sathorn enjoy easy access to the rest of the city center though. A variety of international restaurants and other amenities are always within walking distance. Real estate values on the part of Silom that’s north of Narathiwat Road are among Bangkok’s most expensive. Yet prices become cheaper if you’re looking west or south of the Narathiwat intersection.
  • Sukhumvit
    Sukhumvit is one of the longest roads in the world. It not only extends from Bangkok’s core to its outer suburbs, but eventually runs all the way to the Thai-Cambodian border. However, Sukhumvit is more famous for its portion that lies in downtown Bangkok. Specifically from Nana up to Soi Ekkamai and its BTS station. That strip of Sukhumvit is certainly Bangkok’s most popular expat area. Countless restaurants serving up everything international from Argentine to Japanese food helps Thonglor, Asok, and Ekkamai’s “hi-so” reputation. Moving southeast along Sukhumvit towards On Nut, these Thai neighborhoods become much more local. You can own a condo located in outer Sukhumvit for under half the price of those in its “downtown” section. With all that said, suburban Bangkok is experiencing an oversupply of one-bedroom units. So you’ll probably do better buying a large condo downtown.
  • Ratchathewi
    Ratchathewi is arguably Bangkok’s most central district. They have three different BTS stations going through the neighborhood along with an airport rail near the corner of Sri Ayudhya and Phyathai Roads. Furthermore, Ratchathewi district is directly north of the Bangkok’s commercial hub of Siam. It’s also directly west of Thailand’s political center of Dusit. Despite these factors, prices here are lower than in other core locations. Occupancy rates in Ratchathewi are some of the city’s highest too. The feel of Ratchathewi is a lot more local and you won’t find as many expats as you would in Sukhumvit or Silom. Yet the area is close to government offices like the United Nations and is just a stone’s throw from elsewhere in central Bangkok. Victory Monument and the nearby Soi Rangnam in particular is Ratchathewi’s most desirable residential area. The King Power Complex, Bangkok’s biggest duty free mall, is on that street along with dozens of restaurants and stores.
  • Riverside
    Some foreigners, retirees and second home owners in particular, choose to live on Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River. You can enjoy scenic views from luxury condos located on the riverside. Generally, the west side of the Chao Phraya has lower prices. This is because of easier access to Bangkok’s central business district (CBD) from the east side. Residents living on the river’s west side also must either drive across a crowded bridge or take a boat in order to get to Bangkok’s city center. Bangkok’s river has malls, hotel branded residences, and some of the city’s soon-to-be tallest buildings being built on it right now. However, occupancy rates along the riverside are already low even without them. In the meantime, both the public and private sectors are rejuvenating the area with countless developments of all types. Time will tell whether they can bring the river back to life.

Real Estate Investment across Thailand

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is Thailand’s second largest city, yet it’s significantly smaller than Bangkok with just around 2 million people. As such, the sheer variety of condo projects you would find in Bangkok (remember: foreigners can only own condos in Thailand) don’t exist. Most local buyers in Chiang Mai live in houses or other low rise structures. Nonetheless, Chiang Mai is one of Asia’s most popular small cities for retirees, entrepreneurs, and digital nomads in particular. Even though you’re unlikely to have well-paid tenants working for multinational companies. Chiang Mai and its property market is arguably better for Airbnb and other short term rentals than Bangkok is. If you’re willing to put forth additional effort and don’t mind the hassles from essentially being in the accommodation industry, it could prove fruitful here.

Pattaya | Phuket

Our guides usually don’t include destinations we don’t recommend investing in. Yet due to the popularity of investing in Pattaya and Phuket, we’ll give an opinion on their real estate markets as a foreigner. Even if our opinion on these two resort cities isn’t a positive one. People oftentimes come to Thailand as tourists, visit Pattaya and Phuket (among other places), and decide to buy a condo in one of these two cities. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with buying real estate in Thailand most popular beach areas if you want to live here. Don’t be mistaken though: Real estate in Phuket and Pattaya is not the best way to invest in Thailand at all.

You may not lose money buying in Phuket – although that’s a distinct possibility as well. It’s just that tourist areas are too subject to “flavor of the month”. Southeast Asia enjoys plenty of beaches. The sole factor distinguishing Pattaya from Kui Buri (a quiet beach 50 km south of Hua Hin) is where people chose to live and vacation. Pattaya | Phuket have off-seasons and are often plagued by low-occupancy rates. They lack the “staying power” of Bangkok which has multinational companies and a steady flow of well-paid expats. Again, there’s nothing wrong with buying a condo in Phuket or Pattaya if you only want to live here. But the primary purpose of an investment is to make the most money possible with the least risk. Doing otherwise is a huge mistake.

Fearful of a repeat of the 1997 financial crisis, the central bank has tightened regulations on mortgages. The Bank of Thailand has put a brake on the property market, with a focus on speculative buyers to prevent a repeat of real estate crises. On April 01.2019 it started enforcing a tougher set of rules on real estate mortgages called the LTV – loan to value ratio – requiring buyers of second and third properties to put more down-payment on their purchases. The LTV ratio on an individual’s first property purchase remains unchanged at 0-10 per cent so that first-time buyers of houses and condo units are not affected. But the ratio on a second property purchase is raised to 10 per cent in the event that buyers have been paying instalments on their first mortgage for three years or longer.

If the payback on the first mortgage extends less than three years, the ratio on the second mortgage is raised to 20 per cent as a means to mitigate the credit risk, especially among speculative buyers. For a third property purchase, the LTV requirement is raised to 30 per cent when the buyer still has to pay back the first and second mortgages.

Obviously, these new rules are friendly to neither property developers nor speculators, whether Thai or foreign, but they are seen as a preventive measure to curb the development of property-market bubbles.

In 1997 Thailand plunged into its worst financial crisis in recent memory, largely triggered by the bursting of economic bubbles, including those caused by over-investment in the property sector. Lessons were learned and precautionary measures were prepared to prevent another crisis that might be prompted by a systemic credit risk left unchecked. According to the central bank, 2012 and 2013 were the golden years for the Thai property sector, whose profits and returns on assets as reported by listed real estate firms jumped to a high of 9-10 per cent per annum, up from the previous 6-7 per cent. High profitability led to the entry of new players and further expansion of existing ones, while the relatively low interest rates in Thailand also played an encouraging role in boosting the supply of homes.

For property developers, the cost of funding was therefore favourable to launching new projects. For speculative buyers, there were opportunities for short-term profits. Since 2012, most players have been reluctant to slow down because their market share could suffer, resulting in the unstoppable accumulation of more homes waiting to be sold. The last two or three years have seen a buyer’s market, with developers going all out to chase less affluent and lower-income buyers with all types of sales promotions. In addition, developers have begun tapping more foreign buyers, especially the Chinese.

So the demand side has dwindled, leaving developers with second- and third-tier potential buyers as well as speculators whose capacity to borrow and buy is comparatively low, while those with actual demand had already purchased amid rising household debt. Banks have also been struggling to maintain or boost their profits, competing aggressively for mortgage loans despite the rising credit risks. Some lenders have given customers loans beyond their full value (with an LTV ratio above 100), plus an additional or top-up loan. While the lenders’ risks have significantly risen, some believe property prices will continue to rise and the collateral will be sufficient to cover bad debts. That could be wishful thinking. As of now, prevention is probably better than forging recklessly into another crisis.

Hua Hin

With everything said about Pattaya and Phuket above, most of those things don’t apply to Hua Hin. Perhaps you’re wondering why. Hua Hin is much less built up than other Thai resort cities. It will probably stay that way due to the nearby Royal Palace. Most importantly, it’s also a lot better fed by local demand. Take it from someone who got his business degree at Thailand’s best university and can speak Thai: the wealthy locals (there are more than you might think) love having weekend homes in Hua Hin. Yet the locals are less likely to own real estate in Phuket which is too far away, or Pattaya which is too rambunctious. Quite simply, if Chinese and Russians stopped vacationing in Pattaya then its property market would die. Hua Hin boasts a type of sustainability and domestic growth that other Thai beach destinations don’t.
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Thailand Property Investment | Visa and Residence

It is possible to get a one-year investment visa, renewable indefinitely, by investing at least 10 Million THB in a Thai condo. You can also qualify though buying stocks in Thailand, bonds, mutual funds, or a combination of any of those assets. In fact, I’ve applied for and received a Thai property investment myself. Bangkok serves well as a regional base in order to travel to different frontier markets such as Cambodia, Vietnam, and Myanmar. Thus, I invested in Thailand and received a long-term visa. With that said, Thailand’s investment visa is not the best residency program in Asia. Malaysia’s MM2H visa program is less expensive, simpler, and grants you more benefits. Meanwhile, you can live in Cambodia indefinitely and get a visa there for only $300 per year. However, I didn’t go through the program solely for investment reasons. I bought property in Thailand because I enjoy spending time there. It’s a convenient hub considering what my job is, along with the amount of time I spend in frontier markets.

Thai Property Investment Visa

Asia isn’t an easy continent for long-term immigrants. You often have just two options to live here indefinitely: marriage or investment. Sure, most countries in Asia will let you get a work visa – but that requires keeping a local job. Likewise, retirement visas have a minimum age for applicants. Investment visas are unique because anyone can get them regardless of employment, spouse, age, or nationality. You only must have enough money. Thailand’s investment visa certainly isn’t the region’s cheapest option. Getting approved costs ten million baht (around US$ 300,000) which is a steeper price than, for example, the Malaysia’s residence program. A Thai property investment visa nonetheless allows you lifetime access to one of Asia’s most centrally located and dynamic economies. Of course, it lets you live in Thailand permanently as well if that’s your main goal. I’m not a lawyer - nor do I think you need to be in order to simply apply for a visa. Yet I’ve personally gone through Thailand’s investment visa process myself and feel qualified to speak on the matter as a result of my own personal experience.
  • Buying the Asset
    You can either buy real estate, put money into a fixed deposit account at a bank in Thailand, or purchase government bonds to quality under Thailand’s investor visa program. Investing in a combination of those assets also works. You can purchase a 5 Million THB condo and put another 5 Million THB in a term deposit. Buying multiple properties works too – just as long as you meet the 10 Million THB minimum. With all of that said, most people choose buying a condo in Thailand in order to qualify under the investment visa program. Note that you must purchase a new build condominium unit directly from a developer. Secondhand properties aren’t covered under the visa program. Foreigners cannot directly own land or houses in Thailand either. Furthermore, ensure two important things when transferring the money to buy property in Thailand. Payment must first be transferred from abroad, directly from a foreign account in your name, to the seller’s Thai account. The money can’t be sourced from within Thailand. It can’t be sent through any intermediaries besides yourself and the developer either. Second, make sure the resulting currency exchange is done in Thailand. Don’t let your bank convert the money – sending foreign currency and having the seller’s bank exchange it into baht is crucial. 10 Million THB can buy you approximately 75 square meters in Bangkok’s city center. Or a condo around the same size with an ocean view in Phuket.
  • Gathering the Documents
    You must obtain several documents before applying for a Thailand property investment visa. Some of these are easy to get while others are a headache. First, you need a foreign exchange transaction form (FET) from the seller’s bank. FETs serve as proof that you transferred 10 million baht from abroad. Any reputable real estate developer should do the legwork and easily give you the form. Next, you must get a government appraisal which involves going to the city’s (or in in Bangkok, the district’s) land office. Land offices already have them on record and can usually provide it within one day. Last, you’ll need the condo’s residence book, its title deed, and transfer tax receipt. The land office should have already given you those three documents when you initially bought the condo. The requirements are more straightforward if you put ten million baht into a fixed deposit. Just show an FET and a bank statement proving your investment. Apart from the obvious things like passport pictures along with a few copies, you’re now ready to apply for a Thai investor visa.
  • Keeping the Visa and other Conditions
    Unfortunately, the bureaucracy doesn’t end after you’re approved for a Thai investment visa. You will receive a visa with a 90-day validity in the process described above. Afterwards, within two weeks of its expiration date, you must take the same set of documents to immigration once more to extend that visa for another year. Thailand’s investor visa is a de-facto permanent residence. You can indefinitely extend it for another one-year as long as you maintain the original 10 Million THB worth of real estate, bonds, or deposits. However, you still have to ensure your visa is maintained. It requires showing up at the immigration office annually at approximately the same time each year, within two weeks of your visa’s expiration date. Your visa will expire if it’s not extended again before its expiration. This might prove difficult for anyone who travels a lot and doesn’t plan on living in Thailand full-time. Not everyone can be in Thailand for a specific two-week period each year. One more thing: Thailand does have a history of changing the criteria for its investor visa. It also has a record of grandfathering in those who were approved under the previous requirements. For example, the investment visa originally had a 3 Million THB minimum. It was changed to 10 Million THB in back the early 2000s. However, some people have lived in Thailand ever since then by extending their original visa with fewer requirements. It’s a whole different story if you let your visa expire though. You’ll have to start from the very beginning and meet any new criteria.
  • Is a Thai Investor Visa Right for You?
    Quite frankly, Thailand’s property investment visa isn’t a good deal when compared to other countries in Southeast Asia. That’s not simply my opinion. Let’s quickly look at other programs nearby from an objective point of view and compare them with Thailand’s. Malaysia and its MM2H program will give you a 10-year renewable visa for RM 300,000 (US$ 70,000) in a term deposit. The requirements are only RM 150,000 (US$ 35,000) if you’re aged 50 or above. Plus, unlike in Thailand, foreigners can own land under their own name. Likewise, the Philippines has a “retiree” visa program that only requires US$50,000 in a time deposit at a local bank. I put “retiree” in quotation marks because the minimum age to apply for this visa is 35 years old. But not everyone wants to live in Malaysia or the Philippines. Is your main goal to live in Thailand permanently? Are you below the minimum retirement age of 50? If you answered “yes” to both questions, getting a Thai investment visa is a clear choice. Otherwise, consider looking at other options if you want a second residency in Asia but don’t have a specific country in mind.

Thailand’s strategic location puts it an hour flight from four different high-growth economies. Specifically, those frontier markets are Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar. Such a fact not only makes Thailand a great base for the Southeast Asia region,. It also benefits the Thai economy itself by letting them “piggyback” on less developed, fast-growing neighbors. Property in Thailand might not have the best capital appreciation prospects in Asia (we believe this title belongs to Cambodia). With that said, the real estate market has proven very resilient over the past ten years or so. Furthermore, Thailand’s Baht has been one of Asia’s top currencies. It has fluctuated even less than established currencies such as the Singapore dollar or Japanese yen in the past decade.

Property in Thailand, along with the nation’s currency and economy, has a rather low tendency to crash in a recession too. That makes it ideal for risk-averse investors who nonetheless seek exposure to emerging market assets. Thai real estate values held their ground throughout the 2008 Financial Crisis. Prices have even doubled in certain areas of downtown Bangkok like Ratchathewi and Thong Lor since the coup back in 2013.

Interesting times lie ahead in Thailand’s future. Yet the nation’s economy boasts a long history of bouncing back and reinventing itself. This was true during times much more uncertain than now.
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Chinese Condo Ownership in Thailand
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Covid-19: Thailand’s Condominium Sector in a 10-year low

Thailand’s condominium sector is heading for a 10-year low as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on economies around the world. The postponement of new project launches, discounts on unsold units and the disappearance of Chinese buyers have all worsened the situation. According to Phattarachai Taweewong, researcher at global real estate services firm Colliers International, this downward trend continued from last year when the Thai real estate sector was affected by a stronger baht, weaker yuan, the slowing Chinese economy and underperforming Thai economy amid a global slowdown. “This is a very difficult time. Some developers have postponed their launches indefinitely because it is difficult to estimate how long the outbreak would last,” he said. “Sales activities and campaigns have stopped. Sales offices have also seen fewer walk-in customers. In the first quarter of 2020, we expect condominium sales in Thailand to be below 35 per cent, which is the lowest in 10 years.”

According to Phattarachai Taweewong, researcher at global real estate services firm Colliers International, this downward trend continued from last year when the Thai real estate sector was affected by a stronger baht, weaker yuan, the slowing Chinese economy and underperforming Thai economy amid a global slowdown. “This is a very difficult time. Some developers have postponed their launches indefinitely because it is difficult to estimate how long the outbreak would last,” he said. “Sales activities and campaigns have stopped. Sales offices have also seen fewer walk-in customers. In the first quarter of 2020, we expect condominium sales in Thailand to be below 35 %, which is the lowest in 10 years.”
  • The postponement of new launches and discounts on unsold units have hit the real estate sector hard, continuing a downward trend from last year
  • While Chinese buyers have tailed off after travel restrictions imposed by Beijing, experts say they remain active online and are still interested in Thai property
The real estate sector accounts for 6 % of Thailand’s GDP, according to economic think tank Krungsri Research. Thai law stipulates that non-Thais may only legally own condominiums, but no more than 49 per cent of a building’s total saleable area. The significant fall of demand from Chinese buyers has been caused by the travel restrictions Beijing has imposed since the outbreak began, as well as a slowdown in economic activity following the lockdown of several Chinese cities.

Thailand’s tourism sector has borne the brunt of this. According to tourism and sports minister Pipat Ratchakitprakarn’s estimate, if the coronavirus situation concludes by the end of the year, Thailand will have seen about 10 million tourist arrivals – compared with almost 40 million in 2019. While the outbreak has also been a challenge for the Thai condominium sector, Georg Chmiel, the executive chairman of property portal Juwai IQI, said Chinese buyers “are still very active online and still have great demand for Thai property”. While these buyers still account for half of all foreign purchases of condominiums in Thailand, Chmiel said there were “practical obstacles to closing transactions and to buyers taking possession”.

Somsak Chutisilp – the managing director of IQI Thailand, Juwai IQI’s local property-brokerage counterpart – said examples of such obstacles included developers having difficulty locating mainland customers and agents to complete the purchase after the buyers had transferred a down payment of around 30 %. Colliers researcher Phattarachai said this meant developers could not forecast their exact revenue this year. Combined with a coronavirus-forced freeze on launching new projects altogether, he said the sector stood to lose about 28 Billion THB (US$ 868 Mio).

“There are online activities for sales, but they won’t affect the market so significantly,” Phattarachai said, adding that developers also have to deal with oversupply in the market as sales slowed last year due to the Bank of Thailand’s tightening loan policy and the effect of a new land tax deal that saw a previously flat tax rate change to varied rates depending on how a property is used. “There are about unsold 60,000 condominium units in Bangkok, and it would take about 25 months to release this inventory,” he said. Sopon Pornchokchai, president of Thailand’s Agency for Real Estate Affairs, estimated there would be some 100,000 vacant condominium units left unsold around the country this year, and that Chinese buyers could return by the year’s third quarter at the earliest.

“Foreigners accounted for 14 % of condominium purchases last year, down from 17 % the year before,” he said. “Among them, Chinese buyers account for around 60-70 %.” Sopon said in the long run, Thailand could still be an attractive destination for condominium buyers as “it provides better yields, does not limit the minimum spending amount and provides affordable maintenance fees”. But at this time, he advised developers to reach out to existing customers abroad and in the country “because it will be difficult to have new customers during the slow economy”.

However, Juwai IQI executive Chmiel said there would be a sharp rise in purchases once the crisis is over. “We expect a surge in transactions later in the year, after the coronavirus outbreak settles down,” he said. “Buyers who were held back by travel restrictions and other coronavirus-related challenges will finally make their purchases, and it will feel like they are all doing so at once.” Thailand’s health care could be a major motivating factor for Chinese buyers to return, according to Chmiel. “Thailand can win Chinese-buyer market share from other Asian countries that are not as successful at handling the coronavirus outbreak or that don’t have the same high-level medical care,” he said. “Over the longer time frame, Thailand should remain a popular destination for Chinese buyers – most likely one of the top two destinations in the world by number of enquiries in 2021 and 2022.”

Phattarachai from Colliers said that with the negative factors surrounding the property sector in Thailand, it was likely to only see a recovery next year. “If the outbreak is under control by the third quarter, developers will recover by the fourth quarter and the market will revive by 2021.”
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10 Ways to Optimise Property for Sale

So, you’re thinking about selling your property… but, before you put your house or condominium on the market, it’s always a right move to hear what experts in the local market have to say. In this article, we’ve gathered advice from property consultants at Thailand’s top real estate company, Fazwaz Property Group on how to increase the value of your property.
  • Basic Repairs
    Basic home repairs are something you shouldn’t skip. Bangkok-based property consultant, Anjana Arora advises sellers to keep their property well-maintained and in peak condition. “If there’s any problem, it should be fixed right away before it gets worse. Don’t forget that a tiny water leak can quickly turn into a nasty and expensive problem.” Increase inside appeal. It’s more than functions that can increase your home’s value. “A good-looking interior and fitting furniture can make your unit stand out from other similar units and improve your competitive edge”, said Praveen PalSingh, Bangkok property consultant. “Install some furniture, decor, paintings, and decorative items so that the photos look nice and appealing. Also, make sure that the place is clean and ready for viewing.”
  • Get it ready for move in
    Praveen said most clients who look to buy for their own use prefer the ready-to-move-in-right-away type of property. “Buyers usually prefer a unit where they don’t have too much touch-up to the unit.”
  • Stick to Neutral Furnishings
    “Some people renovate to a very personal taste. The best renovations keep the property furnishings/decoration as neutral as possible, while also modernising the property”, said John Lees-Whitehead, Fazwaz’s Pattaya sales director. This may include sticking to neutral colors such as white, grey and beige and staying away from pink, bright yellow, and green.
  • Renovation
    “It depends on the unit,” said Luke Murray, a veteran consultant, in Bangkok. He said renovation isn’t the only solution to maximise home value, especially as renovation is a cost and risk, in itself, as badly renovated property isn’t easy to sell. “Sometimes it is better to leave it as an older unit and let the new owner renovate, themselves. Other times it is better to do some basic renovations to make the unit livable and then let the new owner decorate, themselves. It’s hard to say without seeing the unit specifically.”
  • Tend to the Garden
    People tend to focus on the interior and forget the importance of curb appeal. So, after clearing all the clutter, applying a fresh coat of paint, and repairing unserviceable items, don’t let the overgrown plants and patchy grass ruin the first impression. The next thing is to “mow the lawn and prune the trees”, advised Chiang Mai property consultant, Chayanin Chumphukham.
  • Highlight Location and Management
    “Location and management are factors that you can’t control, but greatly determine the value of the property”, said senior property consultant Bao Nguyen, who is based in Phuket. So, if your property ticks those boxes, it has a big advantage.
  • Hire Professional Photographers
    Talk to veteran real estate agents in Thailand, and the chances are they will advise you to hire a professional photographer to take pictures of your property. There are many badly taken photos on property listing sites in Thailand, but you shouldn’t follow the crowd. You can get an 8 photo package for a small condominium unit at as cheap as 1,500 THB. The price for shooting larger villas starts at around 3,000 THB.
  • Show Rental Figures
    “Good rental figures and occupancy rates are attractive to buyers as well as good management because many buyers also want to rent out the property when they are away”, said property consultant George Willoughby, based in the paradise island of Koh Samui. “Properties with good occupancy show potential to make money, which is why many people invest. It also helps reassure that it could be easier to resell again, in the future.”
  • Install High-Quality Curtains
    “High-quality curtains are what tenants look for”, said Jen Mayo Mui, property consultant in Bangkok, who is experienced with Chinese buyers. “If the condominium unit has no or low-quality curtains that can’t block sunlight, that’s a big turnoff for some clients, especially if the unit faces west and has a longer exposure to sunlight”, he said. So, if you are looking to increase the value of your property in the rental market, invest in high-quality fabric.
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Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:28 pm

Tips to Buy Vacation Homes in Thailand

Imagine beachfront villas, riverfront condominiums and mountain hideaways. Vacation homes like these are often purchased for particular lifestyles and leisure activities. However, buyers may need to consider other factors to make the best buying decision. Rental management, for instance, should be considered as holiday home usage often peaks during the holidays, and many homeowners want to benefit from their investment, all year round.
  • Location
    Back in the 80s and 90s, close proximity to your primary residences was a major factor; most vacation homes were within driving distance or a short domestic flight away. However, globalisation has removed the barrier, and these days, investors cross land and sea to acquire their dream homes. Location is the most important aspect when purchasing a vacation home for both residential and commercial reasons. When considering the location, keep the following questions in mind: Which recreational activities are available? Is there sufficient infrastructure such as mass transit, restaurants, and entertainment spots? Does the location offer a short commute to the airport? And, what kind of developments can we expect to see in the area?
  • The Season
    Holiday lodges in Chiang Mai are best visited during the cooler period of the year, while the opposite is true for beach front homes in Phuket. Vacation homes are directly linked to seasons and climates. When purchasing a vacation home, consider which season matches with your preference and schedule – investors who live in the colder hemisphere often prefer a home that offers a “warm” welcome while people in tropical countries are tempted by a crisp hideaway. Whether you’re looking for oceanfront, mountains or beaches, everybody is looking for that perfect, personal vacation sentiment. This is a very subjective aspect of vacation homes and often the underlying trigger in buyers’ choices. It can be the rhythmic ebbs and flows of the waves that lull you to sleep or the grand mountain that inspires awe and ignites adventurous spirits. Your ideal home should be a retreat where your inner self feels at rest – or at its best. Beachfront Bliss does not compromise when it comes to ocean views. The low-rise condominium sits on one of Phuket’s most beautiful beaches, making for a perfect seaside escape.
  • Rentability
    Thanks to vacation rental companies, holiday homes have gained global popularity and opened doors for millions of travellers each year. When purchasing a holiday home for investment, it is important to research rentability in the area, including: Which homes are in my area, and what kind of rental and hospitality services do the competitors provide? Is there demand and potential in this location? Which seasons will have the highest occupancy and how can I accommodate those travellers? The good news is high demand and a good reputation put your property ahead of the game and increase your rental returns.
  • Rental Management
    As a vacation homeowner you will not be able to manage your own property on a weekly or even monthly basis, and expect seamless results. It’s important, therefore, to work with a reputable rental management company or hospitality operator. These days, merely managing rentals is not enough; providing top tier hospitality is the key to success. Keep in mind that the largest operator is not always the best operator. In many markets, boutique operators have created positioning that penetrates niche markets. In either case, that company will become your business card – and the point of contact between your clients and your property. Maintain frequent communication with the operator and have them provide regular reports.
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