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Thailand - Property Prices
Phuket is one of the country’s hot spots for expats and over the last 10 years the property prices have risen sharply due to the demand, although expats can still expect to get value for money there. There are many new developments and average prices for condos are around US $150 per square foot. A small apartment can be purchased for around US $35,000 although more luxurious developments and villas will cost a lot more. Expats should be prepared to pay a lot more for a beachfront property.
Bangkok is another destination which is popular with expats, mainly due to the work opportunities. Properties in Bangkok which are located close to a Skytrain or an underground metro station are those which are in demand and prices are therefore higher than they are in other areas. Condos which are located in the central business districts of the city fetch in excess of US $500 per square meter, and most of the properties are a minimum of two bedrooms. These are the properties which are considered to be luxurious, but an expat who is prepared to consider a reasonably comfortable property away from the city centre could find one for less than US $100 per square meter.
Prices in the city of Chiang Mai are lower than they are in Bangkok, but they also vary according to the district of the city that you are in. The centre of the city is historic so contains only older, traditional properties, but further away in the suburbs there are much newer developments such as condos. These are priced higher than properties in the centre but are still lower in cost than those in Bangkok at the present time, although this is an up and coming area so prices will continue to rise in the near future.
In Udon Thani, a simple traditional Thai house can be purchased for less than US $10,000. These are the houses with corrugated iron roofs and are very simple, but these are popular with Bangkok residents as short-stay holiday homes. This area does have some new developments of apartments and houses. The average cost of one of these newer homes is below US $50,000. Those which are priced around US $50,000 and more are those which are more luxurious and have facilities such as a shared pool.
Pattaya is another region which has undergone a great deal of development in recent years. There are many complexes of apartments and villas and there has also been development of business districts. The influx of people and companies has ensured that property prices have risen and are continuing to rise. In 2003 a large condo was available for around US $170,000 but this price is now higher than US $250,000. However, there are many more reasonably priced properties for sale in the area. A small studio can be purchased for less than US $30,000.
The vast majority of expats will choose to purchase an apartment due to the restrictions on foreign buyers owning land and houses. There are ways around this but it is a complicated procedure. There are also limits on the number of foreign investors who can purchase an apartment in each complex, so this also ensures that demand is high.
Reasonably priced properties in Thailand are in demand in all regions, so the market is currently fairly stable. Investing in property at this time is considered to be a good move, given the growing popularity of the country as an expat destination. The political unrest in the country during 2010 had little impact on the property market.
In the majority of areas it is expected that prices will continue to rise. There is little danger that locals will try to charge more for expats as the purchase procedure for expats is more complicated and they need to be more aware of the ins and outs of the local property market before they buy.
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