For anyone looking for an investment in Thailand, a condominium certainly makes the most sense. This is predominantly because foreigners may own condominiums legally in their own name, whilst owning a villa and other landed property is far more complicated.
Most foreigners after doing their research prefer the hassle-free option of owning a foreign freehold condominium. Although the thought of a condo for many conjures up small cramped units, there are a number of surprisingly luxurious and more spacious options available too. A vast range of condos exist on the market, many of which even resemble a villa in both size and features.
The attractions of a private pool villa do mean many do get sold to foreigners, but many foreigners are sometimes cajoled into setting up Thai companies that may not hold up in a court of a law. A freehold condominium, however, gives owners the peace of mind and the security that they will own their home or investment in perpetuity.
Ove the years, clever architectural designs have created luxury condominiums that have the open feeling of a villa, some with manicured lawns and landscaped garden areas, private swimming pools and large patios. And for those that prefer a house rather than the bungalow concept, there are also a number of duplex condos available too.
Where Are the Most Popular Places to Buy Condominiums in Thailand?
Thailand has a vast array of different landscapes and terrain, from rugged coastline to mountain retreats to tropical paradise islands, so there is something for everyone. For those that prefer the mountains, Chang Mai is an attractive option. Bangkok offers city lovers an array of moderately priced and luxury condominiums.
One of the most popular places in Thailand and probably the fastest developing is Phuket Island. This tropical jewel in the Andaman Sea has seen massive development and improved infrastructure over the last 10 years, especially on the islands west coast. Here the coastline is rapidly developing and attracting buyers from all over the world. There are now a multitude of Phuket condos for sale on this coastline.
But no matter which region appeals to you in Thailand, condos have certainly become the most popular for foreigners.
Here we have listed the main reasons why:
Full Foreign Freehold Ownership for Foreigners
As already mentioned, a condo allows foreigner’s to own the property in their own name. This ownership is registered at the local Land Department and is in perpetuity. They can own it forever, until that time comes when they wish to sell it on to a new buyer.
This is not the same as landed property, such as houses or villas which either require a leasehold structure or the formation of a Thai Company, which is usually frowned upon by the Thai authorities.
Condos Allow Foreigners to own Property in Up-Market Areas
Owning a house or villa in an up-market highly desirable area can prove to be very expensive. A condo, on the other hand, allows foreigners to purchase a property in the same area for a fraction of the cost.
Condos are Cheaper to Maintain Than a Villa
Instead of the usual high maintenance costs of a standalone property, a condominiums running costs are shared equally between all the owners. This is done through the payment of a Common Area Fee (CAM Fee) and cover the upkeep the entire resort and all the facilities, including the swimming pool and gardens. Owners also usually pay into a Sinking Fund, which covers any major work that may need to be done in the future.
This is one of the major benefits of owning a condominium. Because the entire resort is owned fractionally by all the owners together, they can share in the maintenance and running of the resort. These expenses work out to be a very small amount compared to someone covering all the costs and upkeep for owning a single property, especially in a tropical environment where the humidity can increase the rate of wear and tear.
All New Condos Have Excellent Onsite Facilities
Most foreigners choose condos because they are attracted to what the condo offers in the form of onsite amenities. Every new condominium will have amazing swimming pools, cleaned and maintained by the resort management. Owners can take a swim in the morning, catch some sun in the afternoons and most have a children’s pool to entertain the family.
Many resorts these days also have intelligently designed roof top pools offering stunning views across the coast line and there’s usually a bar too, perfect to relax in the evenings and watch the sun go down.
Condos also usually offer residents a fully equipped gymnasium, which prove very popular with a large amount of owners. Some have other onsite facilities too such as spas, children’s clubs, beauty salons and some even have mini cinemas.
It’s Less Hassle With a Condo
One of the great things about a condo is you don’t really have to do much. Of course, you’ll still need to decorate your interior and keep it looking nice but everything outside of your front door is taken care of for you. All condominiums in Thailand by law must have a Condominium Juristic Person, whose role is to use the common area fees to make sure the resort is run efficiently and everything, such as upkeep of the facilities, gardening and the removal of rubbish, is taken care of.
You Can Lock a Condo Up When You Leave
Most people that buy a condo as a holiday home do so because they know they can lock the door when they are away and have no fear that the condo will ever be broken into. Condos are perfect for anyone in this position or for anyone that travels a lot on business or just wants to use their condo for a few months a year. And the security is usually first class on condo resorts, with security guard at the main gate and also at the reception area. Of course, Thailand is a pretty safe place to own property, but a condo gives owners that additional peace of mind.
Condos usually Offer Investors Steady Income
Many people buy condos because they offer attractive returns to investors. Although it has the occasional hiccup, the tourism sector in Thailand is always expanding and there are always opportunities to earn on rental income. Many new condo project also offer investors a guaranteed return which can be anything from 5-8% per annum for anything between 3 and 8 years. Even after these guaranteed periods finish, most resorts also offer a rental pool program to allow owners to carry on generating income from their unit.
Freehold Condos Allow Owners a Vote in How Things Are Run
Every condo has a Condominium Juristic Person who helps to manage the resort, but most resorts also have a committee. All freehold owners in a condominium project will be eligible to join the committee and all owners will have a vote in the AGM (Annual General Meeting).
Condos Are Very Affordable
Probably the most important reason why people buy condos in Thailand is that they are just so cheap compared to other countries. Because they offer such great value for money, the condo market has really taken off over the last few years. In fact, if you compare condo prices in Thailand to other vacation destinations in the world, it is not surprising that the market is so buoyant.
Owning a condo in Thailand has many benefits, which is why the real estate sector in the country has been rapidly expanding over the past two decades.
Here are the main benefits again for people buying condos in Thailand:
- Owners can get freehold ownership
- Prices are still low compared to other countries
- Condos offer onsite amenities such as swimming pools and gyms
- Maintenance costs are very low compared to villas
- The security is good
- All the maintenance costs are shared
- Owners have a vote in the running of the resort
- Condos offer investors good returns