How to buy property in Thailand

Thailand has so much to offer with its laid-back lifestyle, pristine sandy beaches and low living costs, not to mention the buzzing metropolis Bangkok. Property prices are also far cheaper than in most European countries.

Recently, real estate developments and general infrastructure have been catching up with the high demand, making Thailand a great place to invest. But how do you actually buy property in Thailand?

Can foreigners buy property in Thailand?

Foreigners can buy and own buildings, but not the land underneath them. This makes buying a house or a villa a bit complicated, but not impossible.

We’ll address those issues later. Firstly, let’s take a look at buying a condo in Thailand, which is the easiest option.

Buying a Condo in Thailand

Buying a condominium unit in Thailand is a great option for foreigners. Often newly built with modern interiors, condos are comfortable to live in and easy to rent out. They usually have access to swimming pools, supermarkets, fitness studios and more. You would pay a fortune for those amenities in Europe!

For foreigners, buying a condo is also much easier than buying land or a stand-alone property. Condos are registered with a title deed, meaning you can get freehold ownership. A title deed is a document showing that you own the property and all the rights it brings.

There is one thing to watch out for though. Foreign persons are only allowed to buy a maximum of 49% of the units in a condominium project. The remaining 51% must be owned by locals. To avoid future problems, make sure your building fits these requirements.

Buying a Villa in Thailand

As mentioned before, you can buy and own buildings, but not the land on which they are built. This makes buying your villa more complicated than buying a condo. Sometimes it’s worth it to put in the effort, especially if you’ve found your dream villa – of which Thailand has plenty!

The easiest option is to lease the land. Another tactic is to use a local company to acquire the land.

Leasehold in Thailand

A landowner can contract you the right to occupy their land for a period of time through a leasehold.

When the leasehold has expired, it can often be renewed or renegotiated. The best way to make sure this happens is to insert it in the original contract.

In Thailand, foreigners can lease land for up to 30 years. The leasehold period may be renewed up to three times.

Buying Real Estate Through a Thai Company

Foreigners can create a limited company and purchase property and land through that. This is a bit complicated though because most foreigners are not allowed to own more than 49% of a limited company in Thailand (a bit like the condo rule we looked at earlier).

If you are a US citizen, then you are in luck. Thanks to the 1966 ‘Treaty of Amity and Economic Relations between Thailand and the US’, you are allowed to own a majority stake of a Thai limited company.

If you are not from the US, you’ll need another way to get majority voting rights. For example, you might appoint yourself as the company director and then issue different asset classes.

Stay tuned for more useful tips!

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