Foreigners drive condo market

Foreigners drive condo market

Condos are still in demand among foreign buyers targeting investment or second homes, as the market has ample room with foreign ownership remaining below the legal limit of 49%.

Vichai Viratkapan, acting director-general of the Real Estate Information Center (REIC), said the condo market is reliant on foreign buyers as local demand slowed and has not recovered.

“In 2024, if tourism continues to expand from this year, it could benefit foreign buyers and potentially serve as a compensatory factor for the purchasing power of Thais. This could play a pivotal role in propelling the property market’s growth,” he said.

During the first nine months of 2023, the number of condos nationwide transferred to foreigners totalled 10,703 units worth 52.3 billion baht, increases of 37.6% and 31.6% respectively from the corresponding period in 2022.

The proportion of units and value of foreign condo purchases rose to 13.6% and 23.3%, respectively, for the period from 10.8% and 20.3% in 2022.

The total area of condo units nationwide transferred to foreigners amounted to 487,493 square metres, a 35.6% gain year-on-year, reported REIC.

Chon Buri recorded the most condo transfers to foreigners, surpassing Bangkok. The proportions were 41.7% and 37.5%, respectively, compared with an average of 30.8% and 48.8% from 2018-22.

Third place was claimed by Phuket with 6.4%, replacing Samut Prakan.

By unit, Chinese nationals remained at the top with 4,991 units, accounting for 46.6% of transfers to foreigners, followed by Russians with 962 (9%) and Americans with 422 (3.9%). Fourth was Taiwanese at 378 units (3.5%), followed by French with 372 (3.5%).

By value, the top two were unchanged, led by Chinese with a transaction value of 24.7 billion baht (47.3%), followed by Russians at 3.43 billion baht (6.6%), according to REIC.

Third in transaction value were buyers from Myanmar, totalling 2.25 billion baht, accounting for 4.3% of the total from foreigners. Americans ranked fourth at 2.1 billion baht, followed by Taiwanese at 1.84 billion.

By price range, 1,490 units transferred or 44.3% were priced less than 3 million baht, followed by 843 units priced 3.01-5 million baht, accounting for 25.1%, according to the centre.

Units priced 5.01-7.5 million baht totalled 507 transfers (15.1%), while units costing more than 10 million baht had 346 transfers (10.3%) and units priced 7.51-10 million baht had 179 transfers (5.3%).

Buyers from Myanmar registered the highest average price for condo transfers at 6.5 million baht per unit.

Mr Vichai said secondhand condos gained in popularity with foreign buyers, with the proportion transferred to foreign buyers rising to 40% in the first nine months of 2023.

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