Wichai Viratakaphan, bank inspector and acting director-general of the Real Estate Information Centre (REIC), told reporters that the property market in Thailand has recovered since 2022. One of the main driving factors is the close relationship between the sector and the tourism industry.
After surveying 27 Thai provinces in 2022, REIC found that the total value of the industry was THB 390 billion (11.4 billion U.S.dollars), an increase of 1,515 per cent from 2021 when the value was THB 24 billion (704 million U.S.dollars).
The number of foreign-owned condominiums increased by 40.8 per cent, from 8,199 units in 2021 to 11,561 units in 2022, with a total value of around THB 59 billion (1.73 billion U.S dollars).
In 2023, REIC estimates that foreign ownership will grow by 6 per cent, or no less than THB 60bn to THB 63bn (1.76 – 1.84 billion U.S dollars), while the country’s overall growth in foreign ownership will increase from 20 per cent to 25 per cent.
According to the latest REIC statistics from the end of 2022 for the 3 most popular locations, the centre found that Bangkok recorded a total of 19,047 units of ready-to-live condominiums worth around THB 89bn (2.6 billion U.S dollars), followed by the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) areas in Chonburi, Rayong and Chachoengsao with 4,433 ready-to-live units worth THB 19bn (557 million U.S dollars).
Finally, in Phuket, a total of 835 units worth THB 3.5bn (102 million U.S dollars) were ready to live. The total value is THB 112bn. (3.3 billion U.S dollars)
Combining the value of condominiums ready for live, THB 112bn, with those under construction and those for sale, worth THB 196bn (5.75 billion U.S dollars), gives a total value of THB 308bn (9 billion million U.S dollars). If we add that foreigners have a 49 per cent stake, the total market value is THB 151bn (4.4 billion U.S dollars).
5 provinces with the highest rate of property transfer in 2022:
- Bangkok: 5,260 units, THB 39.9bn (1.17 billion U.S dollars)
- Chonburi: 3,567 units, THB 10.2bn (299 million U.S dollars)
- Phuket: 637 units, THB 3bn (88 million U.S dollars)
- Chiang Mai: 595 units, THB 1.87bn (54.8 million U.S dollars)
- Samut Prakarn: 793 units, THB 1.85bn (54.2 million U.S dollars)
The other five in the top ten provinces are Prachuap Khiri Khan, Nonthaburi, Pathumthani, Rayong, and Petchaburi.
In terms of nationalities, Chinese customers ranked first in 7 of the top 10 provinces:
- Bangkok: 3,323 units, THB 22.3bn (654 million U.S dollars)
- Chonburi: 1,207 units, THB 3.49bn (102 million U.S dollars)
- Chiang Mai: 352 units, THB 1.1bn (32 million U.S dollars)
Petchaburi is the most popular place with Americans, as they are the first nationality to shop most in the province, and among the top 10 nationalities in Petchaburi, there are no Chinese at all, mainly Europeans.
Russian ranks first in Phuket with 240 units and a value of THB 875m (25.6 million U.S dollars) and in Prachuap Khiri Khan with 37 units and a value of THB 285m (8.3 million U.S dollars).
In the top 5 nationalities for condominiums, the Chinese rank first as they have a share of 49 to 60 per cent, THB 2.2bn to THB 31bn. (64.5 – 90.9 million U.S dollars) Russians are second with a share of 4 to 7 per cent, THB 2.2bn to THB 2.6bn. (64.5 – 76.2 million U.S dollars)
The third to fifth places are among France, England, Japan, and Germany.
However, it is important to note Vanuatu, Myanmar and Cambodia. Vanuatu ranks in the top five in 2021 with a value of THB 1.1bn (32.2 million U.S dollars) representing a 3 per cent share. In 2022, Myanmar ranks in the top five with a total value of THB 2.5bn (73.3 million U.S dollars) and a share of 4 per cent, while Cambodia has a total value of THB 1.6bn (46.9 million U.S dollars) and a share of 3 per cent.
Wichai said Chinese customers like Chaing Mai, where they bought condominiums worth a total of THB 1bn (29.3 million U.S dollars) last year, and also in the Bangkok metropolitan area. Around Bangkok provinces, Chinese customers are still the main investors. They come with the boom in tourism. They buy property for business reasons and as an investment.
“Chinese customers buy to live and to invest. In the longer term, they plan to buy a second home in Thailand, but [we] might be at a disadvantage compared to Malaysia when it comes to the LTR -long-term visas. In Malaysia, there is also MM2H – My Malaysia Second Home, which directly attracts foreigners to buy a second home there.”