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Can Foreigners Buy Property in Thailand?

Buying Property in Thailand As A Foreigner

Thailand is one of the top choices for foreigners to look into buying property and as their vacation or retirement destination as well as an investment hub. Bangkok, in particular, provides satisfactory yields of about 4-5 percent depending on the area the property is located and the size of the unit. Two or three-bedroom units in the central areas with public transport like Lumpini, Sathorn, and Sukhumvit are preferred.

Questions have arisen whether they could purchase such real estate legally. Buying a condominium in Thailand as a foreigner is the most straightforward method to invest in real estate. Due to the 1979 Thailand Condominium Act, foreigners can own condominiums anywhere in Thailand 100% outright, as long as it is within the 49 percent of the foreigner quota.

Freehold condominiums

In other words, foreigners can look into buying property up to 49 percent of the registrable area in any freehold condominium but are not allowed to buy a landed property directly. There are several reputable freehold condominiums in Bangkok prime locations such as 98 Wireless, Marque Sukhumvit 39, and Saladaeng One.

Generally, overseas passport holders are not eligible to buy actual land in Thailand as the law limits foreigners from owning land in their own name. However, there are certain exceptions that are applicable. 

The most convenient and the most common alternative to obtain land is to set up a limited company in order to get hold of the real estate. The property would be purchased in the name of the company. However, the 49:50 foreigner /Thai ratio is also implemented in forming a company. To resolve, foreigners establish themselves as high-rank positions in order to gain the majority of voting rights.

Long term leasehold contract

Another alternative when looking into buying property is to enter a long term leasehold contract with the landowner. Foreigners can not actually own land, but they can own the house or structure being built on the land once construction is permitted to build in their own name.

It is also important to understand the different types of Thai title deeds in order to determine the extent of the owner’s rights over the land you are interested in. Also, it is advisable to know the cost of ownership transfer and property taxes when buying a property in advance for your consideration in future investment.  

 

Julie Parkinson

Asher Property Editor

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