Chinese investors have become an important driver of Thailand’s property market, particularly condominiums in Bangkok. The trend began a couple of years ago when the Chinese government imposed tougher conditions on property investment and has gathered momentum recently, due in part to the weaker yuan as the Thai market is considered to be reasonably priced.
Other factors that make Thailand attractive to Chinese property buyers include the ability to buy freehold property, lower taxes and fees compared with other markets, and great amenities such as swimming pools, gyms and saunas.
Thailand also appeals because of its geographical proximity to China, well-developed tourism infrastructure, and its culture.
According to Juwai.com, a popular website for international property listings, Thailand topped the list of inquiries last year, after being in third place the previous year and sixth the year before. While there is no definitive explanation as to why Thailand’s popularity has risen, it may simply be that other countries have become less attractive. Not only does the lower yuan make their property markets less affordable, but some countries previously considered attractive are now imposing stricter restrictions on foreign investment.
The current wave of investment by Chinese investors into Thailand is largely targeting the rental market, with prices mainly falling in the low to mid-range bracket, reflecting the enthusiasm of middle income Chinese for alternative forms of investment. It is no coincidence that the places into which Chinese property buyers are pouring their money are also the most popular with tourists, namely Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya and Phuket, as properties in these areas are easier to rent out.
Looking to the future, I believe this trend will continue. Indeed, the attractiveness of Thailand should grow, since Thailand is part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Investment in the countries that support the BRI is encouraged, and new rail networks will boost real estate and construction.
In short, Chinese investors consider investing in Thai property as both a shrewd and safe move. Thailand property developers that understand their needs and interests can feel optimistic about the future.
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