FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Buy

Yes. A foreigner can purchase both freehold and leasehold condominium units.

No. Unlike countries such as Hong Kong, Australia and Singapore, the Thai government does not levy any special stamp duties against overseas real estate buyers.

Foreigners may not own any more than 49% of the units in any single condominium building. Additionally foreigners are not allowed to buy land or landed property in Thailand. They can, however, purchase these through a registered company that is 51% owned by Thai nationals. The foreigner can be named as the managing director making decisions such as purchasing property. Ultimately, the property will be under the name of the company, not the individual.

A freehold property, such as a condominium, is owned by the purchaser outright. A leasehold agreement allows ownership of a property for a set number of years. At Century21 Skylux, we recommend overseas buyers go with freehold properties unless there is certain protections put in place on the leasehold agreement.

When you are buying a property you will need to look out for the following:

Ownership Transfer Fee– This is 2% of the government appraised value or selling price in most cases.

Income Withholding Tax– For private sales, this is calculated based on several factors such as the assessed value of the property, the length of time it has been owned and the personal income tax rate of the seller.

You will also need to pay one of the following:

Stamp Duty– A fee of 0.5% of the appraised value or the selling price (whatever is higher) is due if:

1) The seller owned the property for a minimum of five years.

2) The property is the primary residence of the seller for no less than 12 months prior to the sale.

Specific Business Tax– The rate of this is 3.3% of the government appraised value or the selling price (whichever is higher). This will be applied to all property sales by companies or individuals that involve a property that has been owned for less than five years and has not been used as the owner’s primary residence during the 12 months prior to the sale.

This must be negotiated and agreed upon by the buyer and seller. No one party is assigned to pay, but it must be paid before a transaction can be completed.

The Condominium Act contains all the rules and regulations for ownership in Thailand. The Act was established in 1979 and updated in 2008.

No. Thailand does not provide a visa and/or work permit for foreigners buying property. There are investment and retirement visas available that may be suitable.

Yes. There are a few banks and programmes that provide mortgage financing to international buyers of Thai real estate. However, these are likely to require significant deposits and have high interest rates.

You will need to open a Thai bank account in order to get money into Thailand. If that is not possible, we have a trust account which you can transfer funds into. Please contact us directly for more details.

Yes, but the process is complicated and depends on a few different factors. A foreigner is unable to inherit land or landed properties as per Thai law.

While all investments carry some amount of risk, Thai real estate is relatively safe when you look at the potential returns available. Prices usually recover in a year or two after significant political events or natural disasters which make the Thai property market safer than others in the region. You as an investor will need to weigh the risk against the returns before making a decision.

A condotel is a condominium that is managed and marketed like a hotel. Individuals buy units and the hotel company selected by the developer will operate the project. In most cases, all of the revenue generated by the condotel is pooled together and distributed evenly among unit owners. Most condotels provide buyers with a chance to stay at the property a set number of days each year.

A rental guarantee is when a developer locks in a specified return for a set period of time when an individual purchases a unit. These can provide investors with peace of mind.

Some leasehold agreements in Thailand feature guaranteed buy back clauses. This means the leaseholder agrees to buy back the property at the end of the lease agreement. We recommend that anyone buying a leasehold property in Thailand have a guaranteed buy back in place.

It’s possible but not always recommended for completed units. In Bangkok, it is not unusual for some investors to purchase units in newly launched projects from overseas.

Some people use these interchangeably, but they are two separate real estate classes in Thailand. An apartment is a residential building owned and managed by a single owner. A condominium has units with individual owners. A property management company oversees the building but the units are looked after by each owner. Some will use them as a residence and others let them out.

Yes. If you prefer not to do this yourself, there are companies in Thailand that will handle this for you.

New changes to the Consumer Protection Act, the legislation governing rentals in Thailand, have made things more favorable for renters. That being said, landlords now have more standardization that protects them as well.

Sell

There is competition to sell condominium units in places like Bangkok and the country’s resort areas. That is why it is important to work with a company such as Century21 Skylux who has the tools to market your property. We recommended anyone trying to sell a property to have professional photography. This can make selling a lot easier.

Get in touch with us today if you are thinking about selling a Thai property.

Rent

Yes. The government collects a 12.5% tax per year on the annual rental revenue. It is possible for the owner to have tenants pay this tax as long as it is stated in their rental agreement.

Yes. Most tenants in Bangkok are expecting to rent a condominium that is at least semi-furnished and most want fully furnished units. While there are plenty of furniture shops in Thailand, it is recommended to higher a proper interior designer if you are serious about finding a tenant quickly.

Yes. If you prefer not to do this yourself, there are companies in Thailand that will handle this for you.

New changes to the Consumer Protection Act, the legislation governing rentals in Thailand, have made things more favorable for renters. That being said, landlords now have more standardization that protects them as well.