Bangkok has long been a popular destination for expats and foreigners. The low cost of living compared to many other major Asian destinations and work opportunities have been a big draw. Currently, however, there has been a major influx of Chinese, who have not come to work, but rather make property investments. Last year they made up about half of the foreign property buyers in the market. Here are some reasons why this trend has recently picked up and is unlikely to abate any time soon.
1. Poor Returns at Home
Many Chinese investors are opting to dispose of their properties back home due to poor rental yields and invest in Bangkok property that offers a better return. Despite the slowdown in the Bangkok economy and real estate, developers have taken more prudent measures to focus on a few projects that still attract interest. So although progress is slower, it remains positive.
2. Online Access
Another area that has helped developers capture Chinese investor interest is the marketing of properties via online portals. Many Chinese property buyers are basing their purchase decision on information gleaned online. They are buying homes sight unseen with a focus on prime located condominiums that can be easily let. Developers that can offer property management services are also quite popular thanks to the convenience they offer in arranging for tenants.
3. Political Stability
No matter the views of locals, foreigners still view the ruling junta military as being a stabilizing force. Even with 12 coups having taken place since the constitutional monarchy came into being, the Thai government has continued to reliably operate and the economy flourishes, giving the impression of soundness.
Chinese investors view the Bangkok property market as a lucrative one as they can secure luxury units at prices much more affordable than what they would get in other regions like Singapore or Hong Kong.
5. Booming Rental Market
Even with the economic slowdown, Bangkok still continues to attract expats and foreign tourists interested in staying for long periods. The strong demand for housing, particularly in popular areas like Sukhumvit and Silom, means that investors can start making a return quickly. Many developers are marketing a rental guarantee of between 5-7% that many investors find attractive. The Chinese rental yield is around the 2% mark.
6. Low-Cost Living
Some investors are opting for Thai properties thanks to the relatively low cost of living in and education. Their children can attend cheaper universities here and still have work opportunities as well. Such investments are being made for future generations.
Another growing segment of Property buyers from China are the retirees. With more affordable housing, low cost of living and cheaper medical care, Bangkok and other regions in Thai have become an attractive destination for the gaining population. This coupled with being able to reside with younger ones here for school and work opportunities make this destination a great option for families.
8. Relaxed Visa Rules
With retirees required to just have $25,000 in liquid assets to get a one-year visa, this is a regulation many of the growing middle and upper class Chinese can afford.