The Agency for Real Estate Affairs (Area) projects foreigners will buy 27,741 residential properties in Thailand this year worth a total 161.56 billion baht.
In metropolitan Bangkok, foreign buyers accounted for 18.8% of new-property transfers in the first half of this year, up from 11.1% last year, said Area’s president Sopon Pornchokchai.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic in 2019, foreign buyers accounted for 15% of the value of residential properties sold in Bangkok and its suburbs.
This year, the agency projects that foreigners will purchase 4,203 residential units in metropolitan Bangkok, totalling 20.36 billion baht.
Chinese buyers are expected to lead the way with purchases of 1,937 units, amounting to 7.24 billion baht. The most popular areas for Chinese buyers are Ratchada-Huay Kwang with 731 units, followed by Bang Na-Thepharak with 625 units, and the central business district with 223 units, Sopon added.
For properties nationwide, foreigners are projected to purchase 13,200 units, or 6% of the total. This forecast includes both new and second-hand units.
Property transfer fees and taxes on the total 161.56 billion baht of purchases by foreigners this year would yield about 4.85 billion baht (3% of total value).
However, the rise in foreign buyers may not significantly stimulate the Thai economy as many properties may be rented out to locals.
Additionally, if these properties are rented out, the income generated might not go back into the Thai economy, Sophon said.
Also, illegal purchases or property transactions made through nominees will deprive the government of property tax revenue.
Meanwhile, temporary visa measures, particularly for Chinese nationals, are expected to boost the market. Some experts even believe that foreign buyers might contribute positively to Thailand’s tourism industry, though this would require efforts to enhance the country’s image and attract more tourists, Sophon added.