Thailand is the second biggest economy in Southeast Asia and is kind of an anomaly in the region. Because Thailand was able to avoid major conflicts and heavy colonization in the past, it has maintained a robust economy and is doing much better than its neighbors for this reason. This is also why Thailand is such a major hub in the region, not only for citizens from neighboring countries but from all over the world. More and more people are starting to pay attention to investment opportunities in the region, especially in real estate.
But while the real estate market is booming, investors soon find out that there are some obstacles that could get in the way. However, these obstacles aren’t insurmountable and shouldn’t dissuade you from investing in this beautiful country. Here are some of the challenges of investing in Thai real estate and how to work around them.
Buying Property in Thailand as a Foreigner
As you’ll soon find out, Thai law makes it impossible for foreigners to actually own land in the country. They can get a lease on the land where units are constructed, and they can own the units under some conditions, but they cannot own the land itself.
In the case of condos, foreigners can own units in buildings that are majority owned by Thais. There are also some developers that will allow you to purchase townhouses and villas through leasehold land ownership. For instance, you could buy a 3 bedroom townhouse Phuket on a freehold basis and transfer the lease to a third-party if you ever decide to sell the property. This is one of the best and easiest ways to invest in real estate in the country and one that offers the best opportunities.
Why this is a Great Time to Invest in Thai Real Estate
One of the main reasons why now is a great time to invest in real estate in Thailand is that the country is seeing more and more demand from foreign investors, especially from China. As a matter of fact, the country has seen a 91% surge in inquiries from Chinese real estate investors, with areas like Phuket, Bangkok, and Chiang Mai drawing the most interest.
A Hedge Against the US Dollar
When you invest in foreign real estate, you’re not simply investing in the property itself, but in the currency of the country you’re investing in. We saw a sharp decline among most Southeast Asian currencies around 2014, and the USD has been particularly strong against them during that period. However, since the country is seeing unprecedented growth and the world’s financial center is slowly moving further east, the USD dollar is bound to lose some of its dominance, which makes now the perfect time to invest while the dollar is still strong and the baht continues to gain against it.
Investing in Thailand can be challenging, but the potential for growth is just too much to ignore. If you were looking to invest in the region, we suggest you learn as much as you can about the market, work with reputable developers, and lock down on the best opportunities you can find.