Chinese buyers are extremely active in Thailand’s property and real estate sector right now.
The phenomenon isn’t new though; for the last four years buyers from China have been increasing their interest in Thailand’s property markets.
Chinese buyers current rank Thailand as number one in Southeast Asia in terms of demand, ahead of Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia.
That’s according to Juwai.com, the top Chinese property website for international buyers, and its data from the first nine months of 2017.
As well as being the top Southeast Asian nation, Thailand is ranked third globally for Chinese property buying demand, although right now that could actually be higher.
So, why is Thailand an attractive property destination for Chinese property buyers and investors?
Carrie Law, the CEO of Juwai.com, the No. 1 Chinese international real estate website, said: “Thailand receives significantly more buyer interest than any other Southeast Asian country, including Malaysia — the next best Southeast Asian performer.“
“And the investment into Thailand is growing quickly, with Chinese buyers making 26 percent more inquiries than a year ago during the first three months of 2017.”
For Chinese buyers, Thailand is inexpensive and easy to reach, and its property buyers and investors like the relatively inexpensive luxury of the city condominiums and resort properties available in Thailand.
Law added: “Chinese property buyers in Thailand are focused on investment and lifestyle goals.”
“They feel that in Thailand they can buy a nice place in an attractive location, that they can rent it out and, they hope, it will gain value over time.”
“In vacation destinations like Phuket, they love owning a little bit of paradise.”
Law said that Thailand has become more popular among Chinese buyers as a result of a steady, years-long trend.
She said that it wasn’t as noticeable in earlier years, but even back in 2014 people in the industry started to realise that Chinese buyers were playing a bigger role in the market.
“That is when the first property developers and real estate agents began to prepare marketing materials in Chinese, and train their staff to work with Chinese buyers,” she said.
“Now, that interest has flowered into larger numbers and is much more noticeable.
“Chinese buyers appreciate that Thailand is a close and approachable market, relatively affordable and offers an appealing lifestyle.”
“Retirement buyers love the high quality of life and low cost of living. Lifestyle buyers like that they can own a vacation home that they can visit for long weekends, and which they can rent out when they are not using it.”
She confirmed that many Chinese property buyers first visited Thailand as tourists.
“We also see a formerly under-represented buyer appearing in larger numbers. This is the upper middle class Chinese buyer, who can’t afford property in more expensive countries.”
“For example, in Sydney, Australia, the median dwelling price is about US$ 916,000, whereas a THB 9 million new, luxury condo in Bangkok works out to about US $270,000. The median inquiry price for our consumers in Thailand during 2017 was approx.. US$ 169,000.”
Law said that two-thirds of the Chinese buyers her company works with in Thailand are looking at property that costs US$250,000 or less.
“The top three destinations for Chinese consumers are Pattaya, Bangkok, and Phuket, while the top three destinations in Bangkok for the Chinese consumers Juwai.com sees are Sathorn, Sukhumvit, and Bang Na.”
Law concluded: “We expect Thailand to see strong buying from Chinese consumers during 2018.”