Bangkok skyline with lake

View of the Bangkok skyline.

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Thailand is often called the Land of Smiles, an affectionate nickname supposedly coined by tourists, but in most likelihood, was the result of a successful slogan started by the country’s tourism authority.

However, the wide grins aren’t just reserved for holidaymakers. Savvy foreign property investors will also find themselves reaping benefits.

We share some tips that every investor looking to enter the Thailand property market should know.

Play by the rules

Thailand is very welcoming towards foreign investors, and has some of the least restrictive overseas property ownership rules among its Southeast Asian counterparts. Foreigners are not allowed to own land in Thailand, so landed properties such as detached, semi-detached or terrace houses are out of bounds to those without a Thai passport. However, any freehold condominium from the second floor and upwards can be sold to foreigners.

By Thai law, developers can allocate as much as 49 percent of a development to foreign buyers. The best part? Foreigners pay no property tax in Thailand, although certain fees such as transfer fees, stamp duties and sinking funds still apply.

With nearly 20 percent of Bangkok’s condo units owned by overseas investors, most developers are accustomed to helping foreigners with the buying process, and have devised ways to make the experience as fuss-free as possible.

Local developer Noble Development PLC, for example, has created a purchasing process that takes the buyer from booking and contract signing to getting the title deed in just three main steps.

Bangkok skyline

Bangkok is one of the fastest growing cities in Asia. 

Bank on Bangkok

Thailand is a large country with most of its resources and population concentrated in its capital city. Bangkok represents 13 percent of Thailand’s population of 69 million, and is the main driver of its economy.

The country has many vibrant tourist hotspots such as Pattaya and Phuket that offer tempting prospects to foreign investors, but there’s no doubt that in terms of yield and market strength, Bangkok is in top spot. Plus, it is where all the high-rise projects are – the only property type available for foreign ownership.

But not all areas of Bangkok are created equal. Certain locations hold more potential than others. Five neighbourhoods currently stand out as hotspots for investors: Ari, Ploen Chit, Asok, Phrom Phong and Ratchada.

Ari is Bangkok’s trendiest neighbhourhood, home to countless hipster cafes, fashionable bars and eateries. Buying a property in Ploen Chit means sharing a prestigious address with luxury malls and five-star hotels. From Asok, one can go anywhere in Bangkok because it is a major transport hub where the BTS and MRT lines intersect.

Phrom Phong is the cultural melting pot of Bangkok, where locals rub shoulders with the expatriate community, and where international cuisine can be found. Last, but not least, Ratchada is touted as Bangkok’s up-and-coming new Central Business District, where property prices are soaring.

As a rule, stick to areas not more than 500m from a Bangkok Metro (MRT) or Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS) Skytrain station. For buy-to-let investors, neighbourhoods popular with well-heeled expatriates tend to have shorter rental void periods while central areas seeing rejuvenation, such as Ratchada, are suitable for those seeking capital gains.

Make the right connections

With so many properties mushrooming around the city, deciding on one to invest in can feel like an overwhelming task.

This is where the right choice of developer can make all the difference. Do extensive research and pick a company that has a stellar track record of successful launches, good build quality, and a portfolio of properties that have seen growth in value.

Noble Development PLC is a leading developer in Thailand with more than 25 years of experience in residential development. Whether they are landed properties or condominiums, every Noble development is marked by the company’s signature blend of clean, modern exteriors with lavish, elegant interiors, fitted with quality materials that are made to last. The company believes in creating living spaces that feel like home in the most lucrative, high-value, inner-city locations that will ensure good returns on investment.

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Disclaimer: All forms of investment carry risks, including the risk of losing all the invested amount. Such activities may not be suitable for everyone. This is an overseas investment. As overseas investments carry additional financial, regulatory and legal risks, investors are advised to do the necessary checks and research on the investment beforehand.