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Can Foreigners Buy Property in Thailand?

Category : Buying Real Estate | Posted On 2020-03-20 00:00:00

Can Foreigners Buy Property in Thailand?

Thailand is one of the most stunning countries in the world. With jaw-dropping natural landscapes and stunning beaches, it’s no wonder that tourists flock to Thailand’s shores each year. It’s estimated that 39 million people visited Thailand in 2019, and the tourist numbers continue to grow year after year. 

Many of these tourists become curious about owning property in Thailand. They will ask, "why stay in a hotel if we can safely buy and own property in Thailand?" However, buyers become confused about whether or not foreign property ownership is legal in Thailand because of the conflicting information they hear.

There is a general perception that Thai property law is complicated. Actually, the opposite is true: the laws relating to foreign property ownership in Thailand are quite clear. Foreigns can buy and own "freehold condominiums". Foreigners can buy and own buildings and structures, such as villas (as distinct from the land on which they sit) as freehold. Foreigners can take leases on land or property in Thailand.

Can foreigners buy property in Thailand? The answer is yes.

Investing in Condominiums

Thailand created a bill in 1979 called the Thai Condominium Act. They sought to stimulate foreign investment by extending freehold rights to foreigners. Under this legislation, foreigners can own freehold rights in a condominium. 

Condominiums in Thailand are attractive to foreign buyers. Many condos are built as lifestyle products with great facilities in good locations. Developers are taking the time to design and register their properties under the Thai Condominium Act making it straightforward and easy for foreign buyers. As a registered condominium, the bill stipulates that it should be divided according to the overall space available. To give an example of how this will work, let’s look at an example.

Imagine that there’s a new condominium being built and you would like to purchase a unit as a foreigner. To keep it simple, let us say there will be 100 units in the building of equal size. According to the Thai Condominium Act, 51 of the units will need to be owned by Thai citizens or sold as leasehold. The remaining 49 units can be sold as foreign freehold title. As a foreigner, you would be able to purchase one of the 49 units with a foreign freehold title or one of the 51 units as leasehold. Leasehold we will talk about next.

What is Leasehold?

When buying as a leasehold in Thailand, it is common to come across the 30+30+30 leasehold structure. Leasehold ownership in Thailand is registered at the land office in 30-year blocks and your contract can grant 2 extensions for a total of 90 years. More and more foreign investors are purchasing as leaseholds as taxes are lower.

Leasehold structure is common when purchasing a villa or house in Thailand. The villa and structure can be put in a foreigner’s name as freehold. The land under the villa must be leased for 90 (30+30+30) years. To buy property in Thailand, some foreign buyers will set up a Thai company to purchase the land. This is becoming less and less common as the leasehold structure is becoming more and more secure.


Transferring the Money

When buying a condominium in Thailand, you will need to show the source of the funds by obtaining either a foreign exchange transaction form or a confirmation letter of international funds transfers from your bank. This document is presented to the department of land when registering ownership to buy property in Thailand.


Foreigners Can Buy Property in Thailand

Thailand is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. There is plenty of opportunities for foreigners to get involved in the property market, with new buildings being constructed each year. To browse through some of the best property options or to buy property in Thailand, be sure to check out the listings available on our Phuket Realtor website. 

Phuket Realtor
David Henry
David Henry is known for his integrity, high energy and hard work which goes into every detail or your real estate transaction at Phuket Realtor. David grew up in the Boston area and started as a realtor in his 20's. With over 30 years of experience in real estate, he has now started one of the best independent real estate agencies in Thailand, Phuket Realtor.

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