Thailand is fast becoming one of the most in demand locations for expats and it isn’t hard to see why: tropical temperatures, breath-taking views and delicious native cuisine. Tourists from the UK are only second to Japan in terms of yearly visits to Thailand, accounting for over 5% of the total tourist population since 2010. There are currently over 40,000 UK expats living in Thailand, in areas ranging from the tranquil Chaing Mai, to the modern Bangkok and the beautiful island of Koh Samui all available for expats to invest in. Whether you’re looking for a little summer getaway in the city or starting a new life across the world, Thailand has something for everyone in terms of property.
LOW BUDGET (<£150,000)
On a budget of less than £150,000 you can expect to buy a flat on the edge of Bangkok, a two-bedroom apartment with garage and access to a communal pool and sauna. These new build apartments in the centre of Bangkok are ideal for city getaways, or for expats who will be working in the city.
If you’re looking for a quieter lifestyle you can look towards the North of Thailand. Chaing Mai is already popular with expats, with a four-bedroom house in a gated community costing around £120,000. With 24/7 security and a communal gym with swimming pool, Chaing Mai gives you a lot of luxury for the price, all while being only 15 minutes from the golf course and 30 minutes from the airport.
MEDIUM BUDGET (£150,000-£300,000)
To the south on Thailand’s largest island, Phuket, a mid-range budget can buy a three-bedroom detached villa with a private pool as well as surrounding walls and gate for maximum privacy. For around £170,000 you can purchase this villa to use as you like. If you aren’t planning on relocating permanently, the estates often have rental services for buyers so you can collect a regular monthly income with little hassle.
Alternatively to the south of Bangkok in Hua Hin, £250,000 can buy you a three-bedroom penthouse by the beach. You’ll have access to a maid and driver services as well as to a condo restaurant, pool and tennis court. Located near the centre of Hua Hin, this location is ideal for those looking for luxury without compromising on location, with lots to do in the local area such as golf, quality restaurants and shopping centres.
HIGH BUDGET (£300,000-£500,000)
Bangkok offers a range of high profile apartments for a higher budget, with property available in iconic sites like the Aguston complex. For around £430,000 you can expect to be firmly in the centre of the action, making rental tenants easy to come by. With luxury amenities like roof top pools, saunas and a golf room simulator you can expect to live at the height of innovation, whilst being surrounded by the unique variety of Bangkok’s many shops and award winning restaurants.
At the top of the scale in Koh Samui, the second largest island in Thailand, £500,000 will buy you a five-bedroom private family villa. With 24/7 security and a full perimeter wall you can relax in your private beach facing pool with no distractions. Koh Samui is known for being a peaceful heaven for expats; with a low cost of living coupled with golden beaches, it’s ideal for medium to high budgets.
LUXURY BUDGET (£500,000+)
If you’re lucky enough to have the budget, Thailand can provide a level of luxury and comfort rarely seen in the UK. In Koh Samui, around £1.3 million will buy you a top villa at the Samujana resort. Features at this price range include a personal infinity pool, four large rooms, five bathrooms and a fully equipped kitchen. In addition you also have 24/7 uniformed security, with professional chefs, child services and cleaning staff all available at your request.
Letting your property can be a massive aspect for many expats, especially if you plan on only using your investment as a holiday home. Services such as Colliers allow you to relax at home while a third party maintains your property. Some property sellers in Thailand also offer this service, Samujana being one of them.
RELOCATING TO THAILAND
Before running off to Thailand to live in your beautiful new home there are several laws regarding expats and property that you must make yourself aware of. The government doesn’t allow expats to own land in Thailand; if you are considering building your own property you will need to follow some strict guidelines. Here are three steps you need to know for owning a property in Thailand.
Long-term leases are very common among expats, with 30 year contracts being renewable up to three times, this should cover you for the duration of your stay in Thailand, however a solicitor is recommended before you begin this process.
Don’t let this process put you off though, as current expats will tell you Thailand is a joy for people looking to take the next stage in life. If you have any questions on life in Thailand for a British person you can post a question to the British Expat Forum. This is a great resource.
Even if you don’t want to make the move permanent you can expect a good return on investment on your property, with a 4.9% increase in property value during 2014. Many expats purchase property for both personal and financial reasons; using your property as a summer house and renting it out during the off-season is easily done.
For more information on purchasing and owning a property in Thailand, check out this handy infographic, packed full of useful information.