Published: 23 Oct, 2016
Foreigners can buy property in Thailand but there are some restrictions. Buying a condominium in Thailand as a foreigner is the easiest and most straightforward method to invest in real estate. Due to the 1979 Thailand Condominium Act, foreigners can own condominiums anywhere in Thailand 100% outright, as long as the building has not already sold its 49% foreign quota. Each condominium in Thailand when registering with the land department designates 49% of its units for sale for potential purchase by a non-Thai buyer.
This way at least 51% of the building always remains in the hands of local Thai people, however individual units that make up the other 49% can be sold to foreigners outright. Therefore it is legal for a non-Thai, non-resident foreigner to own 100% of a freehold condominium in Thailand. And in fact 17% of condominiums owned in Bangkok are owned by foreign investors. If the foreigner wishes to acquire land and build a house, he/she should obtain a long term lease on the land, typically 90 years (registered 30 years initially and two renewals of 30 years each).
The foreigner should apply for the construction permit to build the house in their own name. This way the foreigner owns the house and has a secured long term lease on the land. The lease is written with the option to reassign to another person (if you sell), ability to sublease and with a purchase option (should the law change in the future to allow freehold ownership by the foreigner). Therefore, a lease is the most common legal method for the foreigner to acquire property in Thailand.
Agency fees can range from 3-5% Total fees for legal work and registration should surpass 4% of the sale price
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