Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Buying Properties In Thailand

With the recent hike in RPGT in our Malaysian 2014 Budget, Thailand has become interesting again with 0 RPGT. There is also no restriction on the minimum price of the properties that foreigners can buy. The only problems are foreigners cannot (directly) purchase landed properties and strata properties must have a minimum 51% Thai purchasers - meaning that if the apartment has 100 units, 51 units must be owned by Thais before any foreigners are allowed to purchase any. 

The process and bureaucracy may seem a bit daunting. However, most developers have a team who specializes in assisting foreign purchasers. Without this team, I cannot imagine going through the entire process alone... so, if you are going to buy anything from sub-sale make sure you are prepared to pay for a good lawyer who speaks English cos you'll need to go to this land office below to get your title. 

When purchasing from developers off the plan, the Thais beat us Malaysians in their "speculator package". We're not just talking about DIBs here, even the downpayment you can pay in friendly affordable installments over 3 years! 

However, the Thai's strict anti money laundering law means foreigners have to transfer funds from overseas to buy properties in Thailand. Even if the money is earned and already in Thailand, one has to send the money out overseas and back to Thailand again via a legitimate bank - i.e. no money changers!! One has to get a certificate from the transacting bank to prove this. 

With the certificate, one has to be present at the land office above with the developer's team but it was not that bad despite the traffic jam getting there and back, with all documents in place and a 1 hour wait, the land office issues the strata title on the very day itself! Such efficiency compared with the months and months of processes we have to go through in Malaysia to get our title.


crzy deal said...

Interesting, and i have totally no idea about investing in Thailand, mind to shed some lights?
- What sort of return (capital & rental yield) can we expect?
- Any issue to sell, since 51% must be owned by local, does that mean we can only aim to sell back to foreigner?
- Is there a rental market in Thailand?
- Price range, condo in city (or fringe) area

sinleong said...

returns and capital yield is subjective... varies project to project, in fact can vary from unit to unit as well..
the 51% means u can sell to locals or foreigners. if the building has less than 50% local owners, you cannot sell to foreigners. thai properties are smaller in size, price psf is similar to KL's so you can pick up a CBD studio for as low as RM200k

MTD said...

Sin Leong, thanks for sharing - been to Bangkok a few times but never tried to understand the real estate landscape there. Care to point us to some websites/forums where there is good information on Bangkok's real estate market? I found a few but all in Thai! Also, any financing available for properties in Bangkok? If you flip before handover, depending on which phase of the project you flip - you should have made progressive payments from own pocket?

Tyrone Smith said...

Thank you for the valuable insight! I am thinking to purchase a small home as an investment property and I never thought Thailand.