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Can Foreigners Buy Properties in Thailand?

Thailand's real estate market has developed rapidly in recent years, especially in world-renowned tourist cities such as Bangkok and Chiang Mai. The low investment threshold, superior supporting facilities, and comfortable living environment have inspired many investors to buy properties in Thailand.

Can foreigners buy properties in Thailand?

In general, foreigners cannot buy land in Thailand, but they are allowed to buy apartments or condos. Currently, only apartments with freehold property rights are available for foreigners to buy. There are other rules for villas, township houses, etc.

Foreigners can buy apartments. Buying an apartment is the most direct and easiest way to buy a house in Thailand. Foreigners can buy as many apartments as they want, and they are freehold. The only restriction is that 51% of the property rights of the entire apartment building must be held by Thai citizens, and foreigners can buy up to 49% of the apartments.

Foreigners cannot directly buy villas or townhouses. Unlike an apartment, a house is attached to the land. Buying a house is equivalent to buying this land, so foreigners are not allowed to buy it. But investors can also obtain houses through other approaches, such as establishing a joint venture company with Thais and then buying houses in the name of the company. It only takes 7 days to register a company in Thailand. The cost is low, and no actual operation is required. Only a small amount of low company accounting fees need to be paid every year. However, the law also stipulates that foreigners can only hold no more than 49% of the shares when establishing a Thai company. At least two Thais must be found as shareholders and hold more than 51% of the shares.

When buying a house in Thailand, it is also important to note that local banks in Thailand generally do not approve mortgages to foreigners to buy properties. And the house payment can only be paid in Thai baht, which means that the buyer needs to complete the currency exchange before purchasing.

What are the tax fees when purchasing Thailand properties?

The most exciting thing about buying Thailand properties is that there is no property tax. Buyers only need to pay a transfer fee. The transfer fee is 2% of the registered value of the property and is shared by the seller and buyer. Other tax incurred upon the sale of property, such as stamp duty, withholding tax, and business tax, is paid by the seller.

In addition, there is no inheritance tax in Thailand except for two special scenarios.

For the descendants of the deceased, as long as the total value of the estate exceeds 100 million baht, a 5% tax is imposed on the net value of the inherited property.

For descendants who are not the deceased, as long as the total value of the estate exceeds 100 million baht, a 10% tax is imposed on the net value of the inherited property.