Chinese investors still tops, but demand for Thai real estate on the rise globally

Overseas interest in Thai real estate, and Bangkok condominiums in particular, shows no signs of stopping. Foreign investors accounted for 25 percent of CBRE Thailand’s Bangkok condominium transactions last year, the firm reported during a press conference. This was an increase from 2016.

Chinese buyers remain the primary player for units in the Thai capital. Mainland investors were responsible for almost 30 percent of condominium purchases in 2017, according to CBRE figures. The property consultancy expects overseas investment in Bangkok’s condominium market to continue in 2018 with China most likely to lead the charge once again.

Investors from Hong Kong are also aggressively pursuing Bangkok condominium units, accounting for 14 percent of CBRE’s overseas sales last year. Interest was also strong from Singapore and Malaysia with buyers from the two countries behind 13 percent of international sales.

Somewhat surprising was the activity of investors from the UK and France. The pair combined to take up 12 percent of Bangkok condominium investment in 2016. Buyers from Japan, Taiwan and the USA were among the other countries making a mark on the real estate scene, CBRE noted.Chinese investors in Thailand

Chinese investors not limited to Bangkok

Despite government regulations restricting outbound capital movement, Chinese demand for Thai real estate has not subsided. In fact, it increased in 2017 with Chinese property website Juwai reporting the Kingdom is now the third most searched for global property destination.

Pattaya ThailandBangkok condominiums were popular, but it wasn’t the Thai city with the most Chinese enquiries last year. Pattaya was the top location among Chinese investors with Bangkok in second and Chiang Mai finishing third. Almost 73 percent of Juwai’s visitors were looking for an investment property in Thailand while nearly 55 percent wanted something for end use.

Many of those enquiring about Thailand property via Juwai had more than one motivating factor which may explain why Pattaya is proving to be attractive. The rise of condotels, such as X2 Pattaya Oceansphere and Wyndham Atlas Wongamat Pattaya, presents buyers with a property that offers both investment and end-use privileges.

The opening of U-Tapao International Airport has made investment in a Pattaya condotel or resort property more practical for mainland buyers. There are now non-stop flights from Shanghai, Shenzen and Guangzhou to Pattaya. This makes it easier for Chinese investors to utilise their resort unit as a holiday home while collecting rental returns throughout the year and may explain why more buyers are interested in the Eastern Seaboard.