Guide for Foreigners to Buying A Condominium in Bangkok

Decided with the country that you want to invest or live in? Great! Bangkok? Fantastic! Welcome to the vibrant city I must add! Buying a property in a foreign land is itself a very daunting task especially when one is still unsure and confused of the different areas and neighborhood of the foreign land. Throw in the law of the land which you know practically of nothing at all makes it even more daunting a task ever. Hence, the below is a brief but hopefully clear explanation which would help tremendously in understanding the local law when it comes to real estate market in Bangkok.

Foreign Purchasers of Condominiums in Thailand

Information for foreigner purchasers of condominiums in Bangkok or any part of Thailand for that matter. By foreigner purchasers, it refers to those whom are not Thai permanent residents.

Under the Condominium Act

Under the Condominium Act 2008 (amended) regarding non-residents of Thailand, foreigners who purchase condominium units in Thailand must remit in funds to pay for the unit from overseas. That means that the entire payment must be transferred into the country to buy the Thai condominium or Bangkok condominium as ‘foreign currency’ and not Thai Baht. The beneficiary bank will issue a ‘Foreign Exchange Transaction’ certificate which should be presented to the Thai Land Department in Bangkok when registering the ownership of the Thai condominium.

Foreign Exchange Transaction

For each transfer, banks will only provide a ‘Foreign Exchange Transaction’ certificate for amounts over US$ 20,000. For amounts of less than this, the bank will issue a credit note, which may be presented, with the confirmation letter from your Thai bank, to the Land Office in Bangkok order to register the condominium in Thailand. In case that you do not have a bank account in Thailand, you can remit the finds directly to the owner of the condominium you are buying or to a third party account, such as a Thai Lawyer or Legal Representative in Thailand. For the case in question, we thoroughly suggest you transfer the funds to your own bank account here in Thailand and obtain the Foreign Exchange Transaction certificate from the Head Office of the Thai Bank, the Bank’s Head Office is often located in Bangkok. Condominium related certificates and/or credit notes and receipts should all be kept safely, with the letter from the bank in Thailand until the date on which the ownership of the condominium units is transferred.

Payment Procedure:

1. To obtain a Foreign Exchange Transaction certificate in Thailand from a Thai Bank, you will have to ensure that all the following instructions are adhered to: a. The name of the remitter must be the same as the purchaser of the Bangkok condo (as indicated in the S & P agreement). Please fill in full name and address of remitter and the beneficiary. b. The money transferred as foreign currency. Please do not convert in Thai Baht before making a transfer. The conversion will be done by the beneficiary bank in Thailand. c. Please indicate in the transfer instructions that the purpose of the transfer is ‘To purchase a Bangkok condominium unit No:…….. at the (name of the Thai condominium building) Please use the exact wording in order to avoid any misinterpretation by the Land Department of Thailand. For example, the word apartment, a term which is frequently used in other countries, has a different meaning from condominium in Thailand. d. Please indicate overseas and beneficiary charges for each payment.

Transfer of ownership

Prior to the transfer of ownership, you should be informed of the total amount due, including any minor amenities or utility deposits. a. If the final payment is NOT financed by a bank, then this amount needs to be remitted into Thailand exactly like the previous payments. b. If the final payment is financed by a bank, then this amount needs to be paid by a cashier’s cheque which will be exchanged with the Thai condominium’s title deed on the date of transfer of ownership. With all these information in hand, I hoped it will be less daunting a task and more of a fun job. To relieve more of your headache, please do check out more of the articles on the different areas of Bangkok. Cheers to property hunting in Bangkok!
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Can Foreigners Buy a Property in Bangkok?

Bangkok is one of the best destinations for tourists; it is already a fact that there are numerous tourist visits Bangkok each year, about eleven million people. These people learn to accept and love the culture, tradition and lifestyle of Bangkok and decided to stay for longer period or move permanently here. Several immigrants from western countries (Europeans) and from Asian neighbor countries such as Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Myanmar choose to live here. Whatever reasons they have they are still welcome here in Bangkok. Continue reading
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Bangkok Properties: An Assessment of the Country’s Real Estate Industry

By the end of the March 2010 people started getting a sense of alert of the protests taking place in the capital. The reports from Europe were also signaling another Lehman Brothers in the form of Greece. The national budget deficit was bothering the people. In the first quarter of this year the anti-government rally brought the activities to stand still the in the Bangkok Central Business District (CBD). The main office areas of Silom, Rajprasong and Chitlom were mainly hit. Many a business had to operate from temporary premises outside CBD for uninterrupted operations and safety.

Real Estate Industry in Bangkok

Real Estate Industry in Bangkok Lease renewals were the main activity during the quarter. Prime office rentals were averaging at BHT 648 per sqm per month and have remained on the levels for last 4 quarters. The rentals were seen stagnant due to unrest. The lessees are to asses the possible unrest in future and risk factor associated with it, prior to lease renewals of the tenancy. The local and foreign businesses having long old association in the area will be continuing in the area, however new entrants will refrain from having their offices in the area. This will affect adversely the property market.

Retail Sector

The downtown retail sector was the worst hit. The malls were closed for eight consecutive weeks, huge losses of billions of Baht were seen in terms of lost revenues, looting and burning activities. The average occupancy was reduced and rentals remained unchanged. Midtown unaffected of crisis had witnessed better period, as occupants of downtown moved to these areas resulting improved occupancy. YOY 2% increases was seen in rentals as well. Both, in downtown and midtown no fresh sale came in the market for the first quarter. Shopping malls in the downtown area were damaged by arson activity. The worst was Central World where the front portion was burnt and it will take at least a year for rebuilding. In downtown the offered properties are reduced to one third for the second quarter. The worst affected is Sathorn Square which will be the largest office to be ready by end of year in CBD since Empire Tower in year 1999. Completion of the project is going to get prolonged. At the end of the fourth quarter, last year the assessment of the trend in property market was fuzzy. In the first quarter of this year the protests on the roads which were silent in Bangkok had become ugly.

The Debt Crisis

The debt crisis of Greece was far more than assessed. Greece contagion brought down larger countries in the wake leading to Global financial meltdown. The prices of the precious metals were touching new highs every day. By end of third week the rally was dispersed and life slowly started coming to normalcy. The cautious tenant had to adjust the environment. The affected tenants were assisted by government and private sector. The downtown area is worst affected compared to midtown. The midtown is to gain out of it in future as well. The foreign investors are awaiting stability to come. In this situation the second quarter of this year will represent as aberration and the first quarter will be viewed as real indicators and trends for long term property market in Bangkok. The challenges are ahead for years to come as new projects supply are to put more pressures in property markets. Market of office, industrial economic growth in BangkokIn retail sector the market sentiments for the first quarter this year have remained almost stable. New supply in rentals are limited in the first quarter as around 7900 sqm came from community mall located on Sukhumwit Soi 26. The future development will be in the form of shopping malls located outside of the centre. Proliferation of convenience stores in every Soi is expected. The office market is driven by industrial and general economic growth as the demand comes from business process outsourcing, supply chain management and regional headquarters. The service sector depends on the government stimulus for its development, and Board of Investment of the country has to play the role. The serviced apartment market has seen a continuous fall. The occupancy rate was around 65-70%. New supply is going to add more pressure to this. Drop in tourism; drop in expat numbers seeking work permits in Thailand has affected the sector
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Bangkok Thailand for Families renting a home

Renting a home in Bangkok can be an fascinating experience when all goes well. It is a surprising, exotic city with an attraction for many curious travellers to this city, deep at the heart of South East Asia. Its beauty is perhaps unparalleled, making it a major tourist destination for travelers from around world. Outside Bangkok you have Thailand’s pristine beaches, surrounded by the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea. Imagine living in a Kingdom where the King presides over a majestic land filled with rich temples and colorful Buddhist monks; a place where almost nothing is short of spectacular. Where else can you see elephants roaming the streets like everyday ordinary pets, other than on the streets of Thailand. The country fills your appetite for exotic delights and leave you craving for more. Its rich multi-cultural mix will find you in the company of the most diverse and wonderful set of people you may ever meet. Continue reading
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Real Estate and Property Ownership in Thailand

The territory of Thailand lies in the heart of Southeast Asia, covering the area of 511,771 sq km that is divided into seventy six provinces. It has maximum dimensions of around 2,500 kilometers north to south and 1,250 kilometers east to west, with a coastline of approximately 1,840 kilometers on the Gulf of Thailand and 865 kilometers along the Indian Ocean. Thailand is divided into four natural regions. These regions are the North, the Central Plain or Chao Phraya River Basin, the Northeast or the Korat Plateau and the South or Southern Peninsula.

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