Thailand Property Market Attracts Chinese Investors
Crystal clear water and white sand combined with pleasant scenery, low prices and high quality medical care make Thailand one of the most popular retirement sites for people all around the world.
Not long ago, Thailand also began to accept the 10-year visa applications for seniors, making the country even more attractive for both investors and retirees looking to buy a home. The extension will be offered for tourists from 14 countries, namely Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States, but more are likely to be added.
Therefore it should come as no surprise that savvy Chinese buyers have become more and more attracted to property and land investments in the red-hot property market in Thailand as well.
Thailand accounted for 70% of total real estate inquiries among Southeast Asian countries in the third quarter of this year (2017), according to data released by real estate agents. Meanwhile, Thailand also ranks third on the most home buyer destination list for Chinese buyers, with the top five popular spots being Pattaya, Phuket, Hua Hin, Bangkok and Samui.
“In the beginning, the purchase of property in Southeast Asia was for the purpose of investment, but with the policy changes in Thailand, we can clearly see rise in purchasing for self-occupation,” a real estate intermediary in Pattaya was quoted saying according to 21st Century Business Herald.
In addition to the pursuit of popular investment properties with a guaranteed yearly return of 5%-8% on the investment, Chinese investors have become increasingly interested in owning land.
As a result of Thai legal restrictions, foreigners can only hold 49% of property rights per condo development, and can not own land at all as a foreigner. But the law does not prohibit foreigners owning Thai companies to own Thai land or villas, but generally require foreign shareholders can only occupy no more than 49% of the shares, and at least need to find more than two Thai people as shareholders, owning more than 51% of the shares.
According to HSBC’s 2017 expat experience survey, Thailand ranked 22 in global rankings and fifth in Asia for living destinations. Considering factors such as disposable income, living balance, housing, health, and quality of life Thailand were ranked far ahead of other Southeast Asian countries.
“The market is very good now,” said a Chinese developer who entered the Phuket market in 2013. “Middle-class people from 30 to 50 years of age are the main buyers.”
There is little doubt that the prices on properties in Thailand will continue to go up over the next couple of years, boosted by the increased popularity from both Russian and Chinese investors.
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