Thailand Property Guides
It is important to be aware of Thailand’s buying procedure for land or property, which at times may appear complicated. The research and advice below will help ensure you a trouble-free property purchase.
The information below is intended as a general guide to the property buying procedure in Thailand. We will gladly guide you through the procedure and help you avoid any pitfalls.
The best time to buy?
Due to the economic and financial crisis which heavily affected Thailand in 2009, plus the serious civil unrest in Bangkok this year, and the beginning of the “low tourist season”, which lasts from May to September each year, many developers are now offering significant discounts on projects, both off-plan as well as ‘ready to move in’.
Trouble in Paradise
Thailand’s tourist industry has around 15 million visitors per year, despite catastrophes like SARS in 2003 and the Tsunami in 2004 and the regular political blowups, including recent violent events in April this year in Bangkok. Thailand, the “Land of Smiles” has a long-tested ability to quickly digest such events. Government continues despite coups, infrastructure gets built, and tourists don’t seem to mind the political unrest as most of the time it doesn’t affect foreigners. Despite the events, Thailand saw a 28% upturn in the last quarter of 2009 with a total spending of about 16 billion dollars during 2009.
Red versus yellow partly represent ‘rich urban’ versus ‘poor rural’, but also represent different elites fighting for control, as suggested by the leadership of nouveau riche ex-Prime Minister turned fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra, who from nothing built a personal fortune of more than 10 billion dollars.
Solid business infrastructure
Thailand has a well-developed business infrastructure, and is a leading exporter of food and natural commodities (rice, fruit, coconut oil, rubber) as well as a low-cost production source for the industries of developed countries, especially Japan. Thailand is South East Asia’s largest producer of cars, and the world’s second largest producer of pickup trucks. The deep sea port in Laem Chabang (between Bangkok and Pattaya) ships thousands of containers of goods worldwide, ranging from automotive to electronics, white goods and health care.
Free trade agreements between Thailand and other Asean countries as well as Australia have helped bring significant inward investments over the last 20 years.
Living costs are very low and the lifestyle offered can meet the highest standards. Infrastructure like healthcare, shopping, leisure, communications and banking are fully developed – Thailand is certainly the “lifestyle” leader in terms of value for money within South East Asia.
Pattaya and Phuket have become similar to “special economic zones”, with a high number of foreigners and expatriates that have settled here and invested in real estate for their own retirement and for investment.
Real estate regulations
Foreigners cannot own land in Thailand. However Thai law stipulates that only 51% of each property has to be in Thai ownership. Foreigners can thus buy and own apartments in condominium developments in their own name, as long as total foreign ownership does not exceed 49%.
International investors can also set up Thai companies through which they can indirectly own houses and apartments within the ‘Thai’ quota of condominium buildings. As houses are offered at comparably lower cost than apartments and ‘Thai quota’ apartments are usually about 20% cheaper than the ‘foreign’ quota, this has become an interesting avenue for cashflow investors looking for rental yields who have a longer term perspective on ownership.
Although these ‘Thai’ units are harder to resell to foreigners, they offer higher yields, so it’s well worth putting an individual investment plan together to find the best strategy.
Many law firms are specialized in setting up Thai companies for investors for this purpose and investors should seek independent advice to guide their decision making process.
Credit by : globalpropertyguide