I: Introduction to buy a property in Thailand
Can I buy a property in Thailand as a foreigner ?
Under the Thailand Condominium Act 1991, when buying a property in Thailand, a foreigner may own a condominium in his/her own name with 100% freehold ownership. To do so, the ratio of foreign ownership in the registered condominium should not exceed the ratio of 49% of foreign owners. House and land cannot be owned by non-Thai.
Non-resident foreigners who purchase a condominium unit in Thailand must bring in the funds from overseas. That means that the entire payment must be transferred from overseas into the Kingdom of Thailand as “foreign currency”.
The payment for a property purchase cannot be made locally between Thai banks, the money sent has to cross-boarders to be considered as international transfer. The beneficiary bank in Thailand will receive the foreign currency and convert the funds into THB. The beneficiary bank in Thailand will issue a “Foreign Exchange Transaction” certificate which is required to be presented to the Land Department when registering the ownership of the condominium.
Transfer of funds
When purchasing a property as a foreigner you will need to prove the origin of funds. If you are not earning any income in Thailand, you need a document proving that the funds used for the purchased are coming into Thailand from overseas. The most common way is via bank transfer. The bank that exchanges the funds transferred will issue a Foreign Exchange Transaction form (FET or FETF).
The FETF document is holding 2 names, the name of the sender of the funds overseas and the name of the receiver of the funds. It is mandatory that one of those 2 names (sender or receiver) is the buyer. The transfer object shall specify project name and the condominium unit purchased: Purchase of Condominium XXX, unit XXX.
If someone pays on your behalf, and the buyer name does not appear as either sender or receiver, then the buyer name must appear in the transfer document: Purchase of Condominium XXX, unit XXX for Mr/Miss XXX XXX.
Can I open a Bank Account in Thailand ?
The answer is YES, you can. You can open a bank account in any Bank as a condominium buyer. This bank account is irrevocable and will remain open even if you sell your property later on. To open a bank account as a property buyer in Thailand, you will have to present to the Bank the following documents:
- Original of Sales and Purchase Agreement signed by developer and buyer.
- Official Receipt(s) from the developer.
- Original of passport with last immigration stamp into Thailand.
- Minimum deposit. (1,000 – 10,000 THB)
The process will take around 30min and you will have a Bankbook with a Debit Card. You can pay or withdraw money in any country outside Thailand with your Debit Card. The team at Keller Henson is happy to assist open a bank account in Thailand locally at the bank of our buyers choice.
Keller Henson Tips:
- Some Banks have more ATM at disposition.
- Some Banks have a higher interest rate for savings accounts.
- It is possible to open a foreign currency account (USD/EUR)
Sample of a Thai Bankbook and Debit Card:
Buying procedure for new properties
In general, projects located in Bangkok will require a down payment from 20% to 30% of the property value. Upon project’s completion, the remaining balance can be paid in one time or with a bank loan.
Outside of Bangkok, developers will usually require a down payment of 30% to 45%. Then the remaining amount will be paid in the form of installments, according to the progress of construction.
Buy a property in Thailand with Thailand Elite Visa
The Thai government opened a Flexible Elite Visa program for real estate investors purchasing a new property of minimum 10,000,000 THB. Some of the real estate developers are part of the Flexible Elite Visa program. You will be automatically granted of a 5 years Thailand Elite Visa when purchasing a new condominium of minimum 10,000,000 THB from one of the affiliated developers.
Thailand Elite Visas Comparison Chart – Valid until 15th September 2023:
Important Update Thailand Elite Visa: CHANGE OF THAILAND ELITE VISA PROGRAMS
Thailand Elite Visa is offering new programs with new conditions. The actual programs are valid for the applications done until 14th of September 2023. The new programs & conditions will be available from October 1st 2023.
For any application done until September 14th 2023, the applicant will receive the actual Elite Visa conditions & price. Next applications under the new Thailand Elite Program will be available after October 1st 2023.
Elite Visa is changing it’s programs. The new programs will be available from October 1st 2023. Between September 15th 2023 to October 1st 2023, no any Thailand Elite application can be proceeded. Thailand Elite is rising the benefits & promotions available linked to its programs, this will engage an increase of price of the Elite Visa. It shall remain only 4 Elite Visa types, 5 years Elite Visa at 900,000 THB / 10 years Elite Visa at 1,500,000 THB / 15 years Elite Visa at 2,500,000 THB / 20 years Elite Visa at 5,000,000 THB. (*please note that these prices are for reference only & not confirmed at the moment).
Buy a property in Thailand with rental guarantee program ?
Rental Guarantee (RG) programs are mainly found in Thailand in the seaside destinations, facing the highest hotels occupancy rates in the country.
Rental Guarantee Program – The Process:
You can purchase a condominium unit in a project that will be managed as a hotel. As an investor of the hotel, you will have the ability to join a rental guarantee program.
The hotel will be running, and in reward of your investment, the hotel management company will share with you a part of its profit. From 5% to 10% annually, depending on the program. This during a certain period of time, renewable or not, according to the agreement.
You will as well beneficiate of Free-Stay, from 15 days to 30 days per year. Some program having a buy-back option after 5 to 15 years, you will have a guaranteed exit strategy giving you the ability to acutely plan your returns.
A very profitable and peace mind investment, with as a bonus, the pleasure to enjoy free holidays in awesome destinations each year!
II: Ways to buy a property in Thailand
Can I buy a condominium from overseas ? Without coming to Thailand ?
The answer is YES. There are no requirements for a buyer to be physically present in Thailand at the moment of purchasing the condominium. You are able to purchase a property in Thailand from overseas, by providing us your details and sending a deposit via overseas bank transfer to the developer account.
For all the process of reservation, contract signature & ownership transfer you are not required to have entered the Kingdom of Thailand. The team at Keller Henson will assist to follow the sales process and documents for you.
Can I transfer the title deed under my name without coming to Thailand?
The answer is Yes. In case of you cannot come to Thailand, you are able to proceed the ownership transfer remotely with a Power Of Attorney (POA), in order to have a representative transferring the title deed on your behalf (either a friend, Keller Henson team, the developer team or a lawyer).
This Power of Attorney is a special form given only by the Land Department, must be notarized in your country of residence and not older than 30 days from the date of signature. Depending on your country of residence, the POA for remote ownership transfer in Thailand can be required to be notarized at your nearest Thai Embassy/Consulate.
Update covid 19 – Thailand ownership transfer condominium:
The ownership transfer can be proceeded remotely from overseas. It can be done with a representative with a notarized Power of Attorney.
In case of you are in Thailand, you are not required to go physically to the Land Department for the transfer of ownership. After entering Thailand, you are able to sign a Power of Attorney (POA), in order to have a representative transferring the title deed on your behalf (either a friend, the developer team or a lawyer).
Buy a property in Thailand with an offshore company
In Thailand you are also able to own a condominium under foreign freehold ownership with an offshore company. You can buy a condominium in Thailand with a foreign company. There are no restriction on where the offshore company has to be incorporated in the world. You can contact our team for more information regarding how to buy & transfer ownership with an offshore company in Thailand.
The document required for an offshore company to transfer ownership in Thailand are: Copy company incorporation document, Copy director ID, Copy Shareholder list, Letter of meeting for the purchase of the property (agreed by shareholders). These documents must be officially translated into Thai language & notarized at the nearest Thai Embassy Consulate. The documents are valid for ownership transfer for only 30 days from the notarization date.
Can I buy a property in Thailand with cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, Ethereum, USDT ?
This depends on each company. You can contact us to know which companies offer crypto payment methods. We will be happy to assist you doing so. Thailand is a crypto friendly country in Asia and is willing to change its system to accept crypto currencies payment. It’s possible to buy a property in Thailand with a crypto currency payment. The process of crypto payment to buy a property is practiced more & more in Thailand.
Some developers in Thailand are offering Crypto Currency Payments solutions to purchase their properties. The major accepted currencies are usually Bitcoin, USDT & Ethereum. You can contact our team at Keller Henson to know more about the properties available for sale with Crypto Currency Payment in Thailand.
III: Legal Document for Purchase a Property in Thailand :
Before buying a new condo in Thailand, Seller’s checklist
Before purchasing a new condominium in Thailand, as a buyer you shall always check if the seller has the legal document required for a real estate development. The important document that you shall always have when buying in a new development in Thailand are the following:
- The EIA
- The Building Permit
- The Land Title Deed
- The Developer company documents
- The Director(s) ID copy
The EIA: Environmental and Industrial Act
The EIA in Thailand allows the construction plan of the condominium and its drawings. This document is given by the Thai Government.
The Building Permit:
The Building Permit in Thailand allows the start of the project’s construction. This document is given by the Thai Government.
The Land Title Deed (Chanote):
The Land Title Deed is the legal document showing the legal owner the land. If the land is under a mortgage, the name of a bank will appear beside the last owner name. Its important to check if the developer legally own the land or if the land is mortgaged.
The Company Registration (affidavit):
The company affidavit is the official registration document from a company. The logo of the Thailand DBD (Department Business Development) must appear on this document. On the company registration (affidavit), the most important information to check are the company ID number, the capital of the company, the director names and the company name.
The company name has to match with the owner name on the Land Title Deed. The director(s) name(s) must match with the director(s) ID copy.
The affidavit also shows other legal information such as the company address, authorized signatory, company objectives etc.
The Director(s) ID copy:
The Director(s) ID copy must match with the director(s) name(s) written on the company registration document (affidavit).
Buying a condo in Thailand, which documents are used ?
The team at Keller Henson detailed below the important documents involved when purchasing of a property in Thailand:
- The Quotation
- The Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA)
- The Official Receipt(s)
- The Credit Advice / FETF
- The Bank Guarantee Letter – Reference Letter for Condominium purchase in Thailand
- The Title Deed / Chanote
- The House Registration Book (Blue/Yellow Book – Tabien Baan)
This document shows the details of the condominium unit purchased and the buyer(s) details. The quotation will also specify the terms and conditions associated with the purchase of the condominium unit. Sometimes a reservation agreement stipulating the terms and conditions has to be signed along the quotation.
The Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA).
It is the official contract between the buyer and the developer. This is your proof of purchase. It is very important to safely store the original copy. You will need to show the original copy in order to open a bank account in Thailand.
The Official Receipt(s).
These are your proofs of payment to the developer. It’s the proof that your transfer successfully reached the developer’s account.
The Credit Advice / FETF.
The Credit Advice / FETF is the official document from the receiving Thai bank issued for each overseas transfer that you did. It is required by the Land Department for the transfer of ownership.
The Bank Guarantee Letter – Reference Letter for condominium purchase in Thailand.
The Bank Guarantee Letter is the official document from the receiving Thai bank certifying that the funds used for the condominium purchase are coming from overseas. This letter goes along the credit advice/FETF. It is required by the Land Department for the transfer of ownership. The Bank Reference letter for condominium purchase in Thailand shall specify the name of the buyer, the amount of money transferred and the details of the property purchased.
The Title deed (Chanote).
The Title deed (Chanote) is the official proof of ownership of the condominium unit. On the front side, this document shows the details of the condominium unit (project name, address, size, unit number, floor.) The details of the owner are shown on the back side of the title deed.
Chanote Front side:
Chanote Back side:
The House Registration Book. (Blue/Yellow Book – Tabien Baan)
In Thailand, each property must have a house registration book (blue book – Tabien Baan) along the title deed. An owner of property in Thailand is allowed to include only 1 property in the house registration book. The house registration book is usually blue, it shall be yellow if the registered owner is a foreigner.
Having a property registered in the house registration book will entitle to lower stamp duty fee in case of you resale your property below 5 years.
IV: How can I buy a property in Thailand
Buy a property in Thailand : Process for a condominium or villa
The team at Keller Henson detailed the steps of purchasing a property in Thailand.
- Booking Fee – First deposit
- Reviewing the Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA)
- Amount to deposit (Down Payment – Installments)
- Final Payment and Transfer of Ownership
1-Booking Fee – First deposit.
When you feel satisfied with the property, you will be asked to make a booking fee or first deposit to engage the process. In return, the developer will reserve the property for you and start the process of drafting your Sales and Purchase Agreement. Usually the money deposited is non-refundable.
2-Reviewing the Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA).
The developer will have the contract prepared for you. Assistance of a lawyer or public notary is not mandatory in Thailand. It is upon your willingness to have a lawyer or solicitor to review the terms and conditions of the contract. This assistance will be at a fee which has to be borne by you. The team at Keller Henson is always happy to help our buyers regarding their legal questions.
Be sure to have a protection for your interests and a penalty engagement from the developer should there be a delay in the property completion date. A proper clause engaging seller’s penalty in case of delay should be stated in the contract. The contract will contain a clause for penalty if you are late with your payment.
Wet signature on each contract page is mandatory. Documents can be send by postal mail. An electronic signature is usually not deemed to be accepted.
3-Amount to Deposit (Down-Payment – Installments).
The amount of deposit or down-payment will depend on the selected property. In general projects located in Bangkok will require a down payment from 15% to 30% of the property value. Projects out of Bangkok might require an higher down payment from 30% to 50% with sometimes installments to be paid according to the construction progress.
4-Final Payment & transfer of ownership.
Upon project’s completion, the remaining balance can be paid cash or with a bank loan. It is possible to apply for a bank loan only once the condominium is considered as completed. The transfer of ownership will be processed once 100% of the property price and additional expenses have been paid.
Example of payment steps without installments:
Projects in Bangkok usually require a down payment of 15% to 30% upon contract signature. The remaining balance has to be paid at the completion date.
|30%||Upon signing the Purchase Contract (within 30 days from Reservation Agreement being signed)|
|70%||(minus reservation deposit) upon keys handover|
Outside of Bangkok, developers will usually require a down payment of 30% to 50%. Then the remaining amount will be paid in the form of installments, according to the progress of construction.
Example of payments steps with installments:
|40%||Upon signing the Purchase Contract (within 30 days from Reservation Agreement being signed)|
|20%||Upon infrastructure completion|
|20%||Upon foundation completion|
|10%||Upon building structure completion|
|10%||(minus reservation deposit) upon keys handover|
Payment Instruction for foreign purchaser of a condominium in Thailand (required for ownership transfer)
For each transfer, banks will only provide a “Foreign Exchange Transaction” certificate for amounts of over US$ 50,000. For amounts of less than this, the bank will issue a credit advice, which may be presented, with the confirmation letter from the bank, to the Land Office in order to register the condominium under freehold ownership. The bank will also have to issue the reference letter; this letter has to be in Thai language only and stipulating the name of the buyer and the details of the condominium being purchased (Condominium name, address, unit number, size of the unit).
In case that you do not have a bank account in Thailand, you will remit the funds directly to the Developer account.
In such case, the developer, as the beneficiary, will obtain the Foreign Exchange Transaction certificate and reference letter from the bank on behalf of the purchaser. The developer will keep all the certificates and/or credit notes with the letter from the bank until the date on which the ownership of the condominium unit is transferred. In the event that the purchaser wishes to keep those documents, a request can be submitted to the developer.
The money has to be transferred as foreign currency. Do not convert in Thai Baht before making a transfer. The conversion into Thai baht will be done by the beneficiary bank in Thailand.
If you have a bank account in Thailand the procedures will be the same but you will be the beneficiary and you will have to obtain the Foreign Exchange Transaction certificate and the reference letter from the bank by yourself.
Please indicate in the transfer instructions that the purpose of transfer is:
“To purchase a condominium Unit No. xxxx, Project Name, Buyer(s) name(s)”
Please use the exact wording above in order to avoid any misinterpretation by the Land Department. For example, the word “apartment”, a term which is frequently used in other countries, has a different meaning than “condominium”.
What happens if my overseas bank converted the money into THB already ? Will I be able to get freehold ownership?
Since few months the regulation has changed but not been officially put in place. The Land Department might accept to transfer the title deed in freehold ownership to the non-Thai even if the conversion into THB has not been done by the local Thai Bank receiving the money.
To do so, you will have to get from the Thai Receiving Bank the Credit Advice or Credit Note (one form given for each overseas transfer done). Then the Thai receiving Bank will have to issue a reference letter stipulating that this money was coming from overseas for a condominium purchase, stipulating the name of the buyer and the details of the condominium being purchased (project name, address, unit number, size of the unit).
Sample of Thai bank credit advice with foreign currency conversion:
Sample of Thai bank credit advice without foreign currency conversion:
Sample of Thai Bank Reference Letter for condominium purchase (without foreign currency conversion):
Note: Sometimes the local Thai bank receiving the money is not liable to issue the reference letter. It can be the liability of the foreign Bank having a corresponding branch in Thailand.
For example for a transfer from China to Thailand that has been done in THB: the credit advice will be given by the Thai Bank receiving the money. The reference letter will have to be issued by the corresponding branch of Bank of China in Thailand. This is done by presenting the credit advice from the local Thai receiving Bank to the Bank of China branch in Thailand. (In this case this process is not immediate – it may takes up to 24 hours to receive the reference letter from the Bank of China).
V: Taxation in Thailand
Personal Taxation in Thailand.
- No Foreign Ownership Tax
- No Housing or Council Tax
- No Asset Tax
- No Multiple Properties Ownership Tax
- No Increase of Stamp Duty if Owner of Multiple Properties
- Low Taxation Environment
Rental income tax in Thailand.
The rental income tax in Thailand is calculated based on the personal income tax progressive rate chart.
Property Sale & Resale fees.
When purchasing property in Thailand there are taxes and fees involved. These taxes go to the Land Department and need to be paid upon the transfer of ownership.
- Transfer fee 2% (from the Land Department appraisal value of the property).
- Withholding tax +/- 3% (of the property selling price).
- Stamp Duty at 0.5% (if the owner held the property since more than 5 years) / Special Business tax 3.3% (only if the owner held the property less than 5 years).
Withholding tax: If the seller is a company, the withholding tax rate will be at 1% of the appraised value or registered sales value of the property (whichever is higher). If the seller is an individual, withholding tax is calculated at a progressive rate based on the appraisal value of the property.
Usually these taxes are shared between buyer and seller. In most cases, as a buyer you will pay only half of the transfer fee (1%). This means you will be only subject to 1% transfer fee. The other taxes are usually borne by the seller.
VI: Can I use a loan to buy a property in Thailand ?
Buy a property in Thailand with a loan ?
Update Thailand Foreign Housing Loan:Right now ICBC Bank Thailand is not able to accept cases if not working in Thailand.
UOB Bank has cancelled the temporary criteria. Condominium buyers applying for a Thai International Home Loan program with UOB Bank during Covid-19 containment do not requires anymore an existing UOB relationship.
As a foreigner non-resident in Thailand purchasing a condominium for own-use or investment purposes, am I able to get finance or a property loan when purchasing a property in Thailand? This question is often rising when thinking about buying a property in Thailand. The team at Keller Henson is here to help you answer this question.
Foreigners non-residents in Thailand are able to process a loan application for a purchase of freehold condominium in Thailand. Nevertheless the criteria are a bit specific. Keller Henson team will help you to analyze the foreign housing loan application conditions in Thailand. Do not hesitate to contact us in case you would like to get more details and assistance regarding any question you might have.
Can I get finance in Thailand for a Off Plan condominium? Can I apply for a loan in Thailand if my condominium is under-construction?
In Thailand, the loan application for off plan properties and under-construction condominiums can only be done few months before project’s completion date. Once the project has been registered as condominium and the title deed has been issued.
Keller Henson-Summary of Foreign Housing Loan in Thailand
- 2 Banks in Thailand offer finance to foreign purchaser of condominiums: UOB Bank Thailand and ICBC Bank Thailand.
Below you can have a look of the main criteria regarding the finance for a condominium in Thailand as a foreigner non-resident:
- Age 21 – 65 years old.
- Minimum income of approx. 100,000 SGD per year.
- No fixed interest rate, variable interest rate.
- Freehold condominium with minimum value 3,000,000 THB.
- Financing areas: Bangkok and selected upcountry locations.
- Maximum 70% Loan to Value.
- Minimum Loan amount 2,000,000THB.
- 30 years loan tenor maximum.
- 3 years loan tenor minimum.
- Preferentially stable income and good credit.
- Loan available in SGD, USD and HKD.
- Interest rate is higher than 7% (minimum interest is 3M Compound SORA + 3.90%).
- The eligibility is limited according to the applicant’s residence country: Australia, Brunei, Canada, France, Hong Kong, Macau, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, UK and USA.
Foreign Housing Loan Comparison in Thailand. Update April 2023
Foreigners non-residents in Thailand are able to process a loan application for a purchase of freehold condominium in Thailand. Nevertheless the criteria are a bit specific. Keller Henson did a brief comparison of the Foreign Housing Loan criteria in Thailand with ICBC Bank and UOB Bank for you to easily decide which Bank suits your needs at best. Do not hesitate to contact us in case you would like to get more details and assistance to answer any question you might have.
Update COVID-19:UOB Bank has cancelled the temporary criteria. Condominium buyers applying for a Thai International Home Loan program with UOB Bank do not requires anymore an existing UOB relationship.
|Update April 2023||ICBC Bank Thailand||UOB Bank |
(HK Citizens only)
(Limited per country)
|Age:||21-55 years old||21-65 years old|
|Property Type:||Freehold condominium||Freehold condominium|
|Property Value:||Min. 2,500,000 THB||Min. 3,000,000 THB|
|Loan To Value:||Max. 70%||Max. 70%|
|Loan Amount:||Min. 1,500,000 THB||Min. 2,000,000 THB|
|Loan Tenure:||3-15 years||3-30 years|
|Interest Rate:||Min. 5.25%|
Max. 3M SIBOR + 6.00%
|Min. USD Prime + 2.75% / 3M Compound SORA + 3.90%|
Max. USD Prime + 3.75% / 3M Compound SORA + 6.30%
|Currency:||SGD / HKD||SGD / USD|
UOB BANK – 2023 International Property Loans Thailand details:
With the UOB Bank Thailand, the eligibility for a foreign housing loan is limited according to the applicant’s residence country:
- Australia, Brunei, Canada, France, Hong Kong, Macau, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, UK and USA.
At UOB Bank Thailand, the loan is available either in SGD or USD currency:
- With a loan in SGD currency, 3 different mortgage interest rate are offered. The mortgage interest rate will vary according to the minimum loan amount.
- With a loan in USD currency, 1 single type of mortgage interest rate is offered
Summary of UOB Bank conditions for foreign housing loan in Thailand:
- Eligible Applicant: Non-resident (limited per country)
- Age: 21 – 65 years old
- Minimum Salary: Minimum income of SGD 100,000 p.a. or equivalent. Minimum income of SGD 72,000 p.a. with work permit in Thailand
- Property Type: Freehold condominium
- Property Value: Min. 3,000,000 THB
- Loan to Value: Max. 70%
- Loan Amount: Min. 2,000,000 THB
- Loan Tenure: 3 – 30 years
- Interest Rate: Min. USD Prime + 2.75% /3M Compound SORA + 3.90% — Max. USD Prime +3.75% / 3M Compound SORA + 6.30%
- Currency: SGD/USD
- Note: 3M Compound SORA is a floating rate = 3.60% as of April 14, 2023. USD Prime is currently at 8.00% p.a as of April 2023.
ICBC BANK – Foreigner Housing Loan Thailand details:
Update COVID-19 – ICBC Bank Thailand Foreign Housing Loan:
Right now ICBC Bank Thailand is not able to accept cases for foreigners not working in Thailand.
Currently ICBC Bank Thailand offers only foreign housing loan in HKD, available for Hong Kong citizens only.
Summary of ICBC Bank conditions for foreign housing loan in Thailand:
- Eligible Applicant: Non-resident (HK citizens only)
- Age: 21 – 55 years old
- Property Type: Freehold condominium
- Property Value: Min. 2,500,000 THB
- Loan to Value: Max. 70%
- Loan Amount: Min. 1,500,000 THB
- Loan Tenure: 3 – 15 years
- Interest Rate: Min. 5.25% — Max. 3M SIBOR+6.0%
- Currency: SGD/HKD