This Thailand Real Estate Guide will hopefully help keep you abreast of the current property markets in and around Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Hua Hin and anywhere else in the country for that matter. As of 2010 it would appear that the demand for a home in Thailand is equally affected by the downturn in worldwide economies. However, should you be in a position whereby you have a little extra expendable capital, this could be an excellent time to buy.
The general predictions are that the property market will remain stagnant for a while longer but not suffer too greatly. How long this will be, is anyone's guess. The consensus is that current homeowners are withholding selling until they can secure a satisfactory price. Nevertheless, property investment in Thailand can and still is a good investment as you may recall, the country is considered one of the top destinations in the world and a great place for retirement.
Thailand still has immense potential for foreigners to invest in the property market as there is no inheritance or gift tax to be concerned about. As far as capital gains tax is concerned, standard rates are the norm. The only downside is that capital appreciation which was previously quite strong in Thailand has been somewhat affected by the recent political turmoils, but I wouldn't let that stand in your way. I am all too positive that it will sort itself out in the long term.
One of the primary factors that immediately springs to mind and also one which is probably the most frequently asked question. (probably the most important too) Can foreigners own land in Thailand? Well the answer is quite simple really. Yes you can own property in Thailand but not altogether outright. Allow me to explain.
There are a number of ways to enter the property market but the most important overriding element is that you as a foreigner, may not own the land in which any structure stands. Before you decide to purchase an existing house or villa or have a new one built, there are a few formalities that need to be accounted for when securing the rights to use the land. Most importantly, you must be especially careful in all your dealings when it comes to any kind of property purchase.
One option in which to acquire Real Estate in Thailand, is to purchase land in the name of a Thai National. (can be either a Thai spouse or someone you trust) You then lease the land from this person for a period of 30 years with an option to extend the lease for a further 30 years. I've heard that it's even possible to extend the lease for up to 90 years, but this has yet to be confirmed so please don't count on it. Think of it this way, you'll be long gone by then.
Another option would be to start a Thai Company in which you will be entitled to hold a 49 percent share. You would then purchase the land through the company. I have to mention here that any trusted Thai national you choose, will have his or her name on the title deeds. What this means is that, in reality he or she will own the land and not you. You would then need to enter into a new agreement to lease the land from your new landowner. Can you see the bigger picture here?
A third solution would be to buy a Condominium. It's also the easiest to obtain without all the hassles that go with buying a house on a freehold. This is considered the same as purchasing the property under sectional title. You never get to own the land on which it stands, but the beauty of this kind of purchase is that it's a lot easier to rent out even in times of political turmoil. In any event, investing in Thailand Real Estate can be an exhilarating and rewarding experience, especially if you have fallen in love with this exotic location.
You may only want to purchase property in Bangkok if you live and work there, but there are some truly amazing homes to buy at all the major hotspots. I have personally seen some beautiful homes in the seaside resorts in Pattaya, Hua Hin as well as the islands of Phuket and Koh Samui.
Many of the islands are largely unaffected by events happening on the mainland and therefore are ideal locations for potential investments in high-end resort properties. Tourism is fast expanding in all areas on the islands so chances are you could conservatively yield capital appreciation returns on your property between 15 and 20 percent.
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