Thailand has long been an attractive destination for foreigners. Whether for holiday, to reside, or as an investment, many foreigners would prefer to buy property in Thailand. However, there are restrictions as to the types of property foreigners can own in Thailand.
Aspire Property has a well-established reputation for assisting foreigners who want to buy real estate in Thailand. Here, we offer an overview of the process.
Ownership options for foreigners in Thailand
Under Thai law, foreigners cannot own land in Thailand. However, the 1979 Condominium Act of Thailand laid out specific criteria under which foreigners could own condominium units in Thailand. Foreigners are allowed to purchase freehold condominium units as long as they do not have a majority ownership stake in the project as a whole. That means that Thai nationals must own at least 51% of any condominium project.
So, foreigners who want to buy a condo in Thailand must check the ownership ratio first to ensure their purchase will be within the quota. So, if you are happy to own a condo either to reside or as an investment, you just need to make sure that your purchase will not increase the foreign ownership above the legally allowed quota.
Leasehold real estate
Foreigners can also obtain long-term leases for condominiums as well as for land. By registering the leasehold at the relevant Land Office, they are entitled to certain rights, including the right to build and own structures on the land they are leasing. So while you would not fully own the land, you can build a home on leased land. This can be a viable option as long as you understand your rights under the leasehold.
Thai law allows long-term leases of not more than 30 years to be registered;
however, they may be able to renew the lease for two more 30-year periods. You may have to pay a registration fee for each renewal based on the lease’s rental rate. A trusted property agent like Aspire Property on your side can explain your options so that you can make an informed choice.
Do you need a property agent or a lawyer or both?
Usually, in Thailand, most foreigners will engage a real estate agent to assist in buying a condominium. It is not necessary as you can make a purchase directly, but a trustworthy agent, such as Aspire Property, will have a better understanding of the local market and can act on your behalf or act as your liaison with sellers or sellers’ agents. Also, an experienced agent can draft and negotiate a standard sale and purchase agreement (SPA) for you that covers all the necessary details so that you do not need to hire a lawyer for straightforward condominium purchases in Thailand.
Transferring funds to pay for your condominium
Foreigners buying a condominium in Thailand must provide certain documentation to the Land Office to complete the transaction. This includes proof that the funds for the purchase came from overseas sources. So, you need to transfer the funds in a foreign currency from an overseas bank to a Thai bank, for which you will receive a Foreign Exchange Transaction Form (FET). Thai banks will issue a FET for transfers equivalent to USD 50,000 or more. You could bring the funds in by cash, but then you will need to declare the currency to the Customs Office and obtain a receipt.
You then have to present that receipt to a Thai bank to receive a confirmation letter acknowledging that the money came from overseas. Furthermore, it is important to note that the named beneficiary on the FET or the confirmation letter must be the same as the buyer’s name in the sale and purchase agreement (SPA) for the Land Office to accept and register the ownership transfer.
Aspire is a trusted agent for foreigners buy property in Thailand?
Aspire Property offers a hassle-free real estate investment service. Our team has helped many buyers, foreign and Thai, purchase their ideal property in Thailand. Aspire is your committed partner on your journey to buying property, from understanding your needs and finding the perfect place to negotiating the best terms and ensuring the deal is completed smoothly. Contact Aspire today to find out how we can help you with your property purchase in Thailand.