Thailand’s Property Market

The property market in Thailand is still booming. The prices of property in Thailand are significantly low even within the Southeast Asian region. The perks of living in Thailand or having a vacation home here is that no matter which direction the mood-swinging politics may go – Thailand has the innate ability to keep going on. . Thailand’s economy has a long record and reputation for paying no attention to coups.  Even though there are a recorded number of at least 11 coups in the last century of Thailand’s history, Thailand’s economy has stood strong and resilient, still growing annually and not suffering any catastrophic dips. Other countries in the region are experiencing real estate bubbles that are raising the prices of properties to dangerous levels. Singapore and Hong Kong have even implemented some ‘cooling measures’ to slow property growth. Thailand’s property market is still providing worthwhile and profitable investment opportunities for many. Despite the political trouble in 2013 and 2014, the economy has continued to grow and property demand has continued to soar.

Paying for your property

In order to buy a property in Thailand using Thai Baht, you will have to make sure that the funds are transferred into Thailand in a foreign currency and then converted into Thai Baht in Thailand. This is done so that the receiving bank will issue a Foreign Exchange Transaction Form to you that confirms the transaction. You may need the Foreign Exchange Transaction Form in your future if you want to repatriate funds without incurring tax penalties.

If you want to repay overseas loans or repatriate investment funds in a foreign currency at a later stage then one of the necessary documents needed for you to do this freely is the Foreign Exchange Transaction Form. Without it, the remittance will be categorized as income you will be taxed.

Please note that the Foreign Exchange Transaction Form can only be issued for single incoming transfers exceeding US$20,000.

Hidden Costs

Save yourself from being caught off-guard and be prepared for the ‘hidden costs’ when you buy a property. Always have some extra funds left over just in case.

  • Understand taxes

Read about Thailand’s taxes in the section below. The costs include Registration Tax, Stamp Duty fee, Specific Business Tax and Income Tax.

  • Understand legal fees

Ask your lawyers to write down all of their anticipated feeds for you before you proceed with the buying process. Your lawyer can also be your greatest helper when it comes to knowing about the possible hidden fees. 

  • Understand Thai

It is necessary for you to get your legal documents translated. Your lawyer or property agent can either take care of this or refer you to a translator. You should NEVER sign a contract if you have seen it only in Thai language and you should NEVER sign a contract if you do not understand all the details. Translation fees run anywhere from 400-700 Thai baht per A4 page depending on the firm and the kind of document.

  • Understand maintenance

Make sure you find out about additional monthly or yearly charges, especially if you are in a housing development or condominium). The developers use the fees for general building maintenance, maintenance of gardens, facilities and paying for maids, security guards, office and Management Company staff…etc.

  • Understand accessibility

A good example of ‘hidden costs’ when you buy land is accessibility. Many land buyers forget to some of the following items in their budget, all of which can add up to gross miscalculations;

  • If your land is not on government property, you have to pay 3,000 THB for each power pole to be installed. Power wire will be an extra cost.
  • If you have to dig a well on your land – this costs between 30,000-50,000 THB
  • Adding a concrete road on your land costs about 1,500 THB for every square metre.

All in all, it is very important to understand all the additional costs when you decide to buy property and make sure your lawyer and property agent both give you advance warning of these.

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