Why are Indians buying a holiday home in Thailand

Thailand real estate outlook

Apr 18, 2022

by Pasi Marjamaki - Director of Sales & Marketing, Mae Phim Projects

Thailand and real estate is no new trend for foreign travelers who for decades been attracted here from every corner of the world. This includes Indians whose arrival numbers has doubled over the past (pre-covid) years, from less than 1 million in 2015 to 2 million in 2019, which was the highest increase of any nationality. In fact, a recent survey by Thomas Cook few months back showed that Thailand was in the top 3 countries to travel to along with UAE and Maldives, confirming that the interest remains high.

And, when it comes to buying real estate here, it comes as no surprise that Indians are on top of that list as well.

Why are Indians buying real estate in Thailand?There are number of factors of course but let’s dig into some of the most prevalent ones.

Firstly, Short travel time of just 3-4 hours withinexpensive airfare prices from every major Indian city makes it very convenienteven just for long weekend trips. Whether you are flying from New Delhi to Goa or to Bangkok for your weekend relaxation, your travel time is pretty much the same. Most common point of entry is Bangkok of course from where it is easy to connect to any other parts of Thailand either with connecting flight or simply by car.

You can ask yourself, would you rather like to take your family for a trip domestically or to a foreign country to see the different culture, expand your culinary tastebuds, and of course the sights… I know I would.

Secondly is the easy access with visa on arrival which is hugely beneficial for Indian travelers. During pre-Covid era, Thai government even had discussions to include India to the list of visa free countries.Iam sure this discussion will continue post-Covid era as the urge for higher tourism numbers is even greater than it was before.

Thirdly is the variety and price level of properties available from economical to luxury, from condominiums to villas in every Thai tourism destination and plenty to choose from. Prices are relatively low, even if you compare prices in Goa, you will find Thailand property prices much more attractive.

Fourthly, what rental and property appreciation one can expect? Guaranteed rental returns (GR) has always been high on customer wish list, even though there are risks involved. Especially now during Covid era, customer should do their proper due diligence and question the authenticity of the offer keeping in mind that what sounds too good to be true, probably is. Genuine RG’s offered are generally between 5-7% over 2-3 years period.

Property appreciation, this is a topic which we don’t have direct answer as it depends on so many factors, such as location, quality, age of property, size etc. But to put something on the table here, buying a new “ready to move in” property with reasonable location, an annual appreciation of 3-5% should be a good target to achieve.

Now, together with RG and appreciation you are looking at 10% return on investment, which should make every investor happy.

Can I have a residency permit in Thailand when buying a property? Thailand (unfortunately) do not have any residence permit program for property buyers.

Retirement visa, this is the most common,convenient,and cheapest visa but it is only available for those over 50 years of age. It comes with 1-year renewable visa and basically only requirement is that you have 800,000 Baht (25,000 USD) in your Thai bank account to show at the time of applying for it. Or, you have provable monthly income of 65,000 Baht (2,000 USD) or more.

Thailand Elite Card is an alternative option which you simply purchase, and it gives you up to 20 years visa with fees starting from 600,000 Baht(20,000 USD).

Investment visa programs for property buyers of more than 10 MB(350,000 USD) is also available, but since it gives you a onetime 5-year visa, it is not a very popular option.

How does the post Covid outlook look like, are some areas worse off than others?

Generally, Thailand tourism is expected to bounce back quickly, but like everywhere else, certain areas will recover faster than others. Currently worst hit are the major areas which were mainly dependent on foreign travelers, such as Pattaya and Phuket and their recovery time will be longest. Whereas smaller areas and those notheavily dependent on foreigners are very quick to bounce back and even flourish at no time as they never were impacted hardly in the first place.

Now many developers are offering great deals to spice up their cash flow due to Covid downturn. Having said that, these great deals will soon be history asThailand is opening its borders again. If you are ready to buy, wait no longer as now is your golden time to find your investment and or 2nd home.

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