How to Buy a Property in Thailand



How to buy a property in Thailand

Condominiums are a great opportunity for foreign investors and expats to own a property in Thailand. Whether they are looking to acquire a property as a primary residence for themselves or a buy-to-let option, condos remain the most popular and ideal choice.
There is an abundance of condos to choose from in the Thai capital city therefore it can be hard to choose and to be sure to make the right choice. Most Thais prefer to buy brand new units off-plan while foreign investors and expats are more drawn to the resale market.
In most cases, the pre-owned and second-hand market offers more possibility to personalise the property, bigger surface for the same price and greater opportunity to buy at a desirable location.
  • The condominium market in Thailand remains affordable in comparison to other asian or western cities. Desirable areas are bustling with condos for every budget. There are a few things, we recommend to consider to ensure making the best investment:
  • Location: Focus your research on prime locations accessible by public transportation such as the BTS or the MRT, such as Silom-Sathorn, Langsuan-Lumpini or Sukhumvit areas, to ensure your property will preserve and potentially increase its value over time.
  • Construction: Check the reputation of the developer for the quality of his construction (noise insulation, finishings, type of materials used...). For pre-owned condos, compare the state of the building with similar condos built around the same time.
  • Maintenance and management: Study the finances of the condominium and check if any owners have failed to pay common fees in the past. Ask for details about past and future renovation plans.
  • Unit type: Consider the needs and criteria of the expat community, if you plan to let the property: desirable location, proximity to transportation, local life, convenience of access to schools and hospitals, an outside space, a swimming pool... Expats tend to look for 2 bedrooms properties or more, in prime locations.
  • High liquidity on rental and resale market: Seek for condominiums with a low vacancy rate - this is a good indicator of the popularity of the condo.lf a unit becomes available, ask since when has it been on the market.
  • There is a strong demand from Thais and other Asian buyers for new off-plan projects and luxurious condos which encourage developers to set premium prices. But beware this does not a guarantee the quality of construction.
  • Prices vary significantly based on how old the building is, the reputation of the developer, the quality of construction, the location, the ease of access to public transportation and the grade of the condo (a common classification used in Bangkok).
  • The scarcity of lands in prime locations also has an impact on the project planning on the developers' side. Indeed, they aim to make a better profit by selling more units with smaller surface which explains the high price per square meter. As a result, the rental market is very competitive for studio and 1 bedroom options.
  • Real estate developers have mastered the art of building high-end and luxury condos to accommodate a modern and urban lifestyle with exclusive facilities, valuable materials, design furniture and premium layouts.
  • For the purchase a condominium unit

    Thailand has made it possible for foreign investors (based either in Thailand or abroad) and companies to own freehold condominium units by enacting the “Thailand Condominium Act” in 1992, which was then completed by the “New Thailand Condominium Act” in 2008. Under the law, there are 3 main conditions for foreigners to acquire a condominium unit :
    1. The chosen residence needs to be registered as a condominium.
    2. The funds used to purchase the condominium unit must originate from a foreign bank account and be transferred in Thailand in a foreign currency. The Thai bank that receives the fund will convert the funds in THB and issue a letter, sometimes called Foreign Exchange Trade (FET) form, that the buyer must present at the land department on the day of transferring the property. The purpose and address of the purchased unit must be indicated on the bank’s letter. If the buyer does not have a Thai account, he may transfer the funds to his Thai lawyer who can assist with the transaction and the purchase.
    3. The number of units owned by foreigners in a condominium needs to remain under 49%. If the condominium has already reached that quota, foreign buyers may still be able to purchase the condo unit through a Thai company. Contact us for more information.
  • For the purchase of other properties

    Foreign investors and expats are also allowed to own standalone properties (such as house, villa, hotel, factory...) but they cannot own directly the land on which the property has been built. However, numerous villa developers offer the possibility for foreigners to own the land through a legal structure with leasehold agreement of 30 years or more. Another possible option for foreigners to own a land is through a Thai company. Contact us for more information.
Many people get confused with the concept of 'freehold' and 'leasehold' when enquiring for a property to buy. But it is essential for future owners to understand the key differences:
- Freehold:A property sold with a freehold agreement allows its buyer to own it without a limitation of time, it can also be donated, passed on or resold at any time by the buyer. In this case, the buyer enjoys the full ownership of his property.
- Leasehold: A property sold with a leasehold agreement allows its buyer to own it for a fixed term. The property cannot be passed on or sold without the agreement of the freeholder, the owner of the land.
There are different types of property in Thailand.
- Condominium: A residential building where units can be owned individually with the number of titles of deeds equal to the number of units. The owner shares rights and duties with all the co-owners.
- Apartment: A unit in a residential building owner by a single owner (Thai individual or company). As a result, there is only one title deed. A unit in an apartment building can only be purchased as long as ther is less 49% foreign owners.
- A Service Apartment: A residence offering serveral services (included in the lease agreement) than regular apartments such as housekeeping, cable TV, internet, etc. A great solution chosen by expats as a short-term accommodation on their arrival in the country.
Thailand has made it easy for foreigners to purchase a condiminium but there is still a definite process to follow. Make sure you are aware of the necessary steps and requirements will avoid many inconvenience.
During the purchase processing, there will be some compulsory taxes to pay to the relevant department before you can become the legal owner of the chosen property. Our experts have gathered some valuable information to help you understand better the whole process.