Foreign ownership of luxury properties in Bangkok has been rising. The ultra-luxurious real estate market is quickly attracting a global investor pool.
High-end luxury properties a favorite with foreign investors
Compared to a studio apartment in Hong Kong, the same amount may be able to snag you a luxurious 2-bedder with designer furniture and fittings, a butler service and even a chauffeured limousine. With such offerings, it is no wonder investors are gradually shifting their sighs to the busy Thai capital of Bangkok.
In fact prices of real state in central Bangkok have doubled in the last 5 years. Land prices have made a 30% leap. Prices of luxury condominiums rose more than 10% in the last quarter of 2017. Thai developers have been experiencing some resistance from local buyers with rising property prices, but foreign buyers are biting, more so than ever.
Central Bangkok property prices doubled in 5 years
Take 98 Wireless, a new 25-storey luxury condominium developed by Sansiri for example. Here, impulse buys of US$2.2 million (S$2.9 million) are apparently not uncommon.
The property started to market to foreign buyers in 2014 and Chinese buyers have bought 77 apartments even before the property was completed. Sansiri now holds marketing evens in Hong Kong almost every month and opened 3 more offices in China, including Beijing.
It helps that Thai laws are looser on foreign homeownership in comparison to other cities in South-east Asia. Foreigners are allowed to purchase freehold properties and ownership is not tied to a lease with a time limit. Only 49% of a property can, however, be sold to non-citizens. Foreign buyers also do not have to pay special taxes or stamp duties unlike in Singapore or Hong Kong.
But are increased prices in luxury real estate market affecting mass market property prices? How do locals feel about this shift in home ownership?