Perhaps the only good thing about yesterday’s pro-democracy protests that marked the fourth year since the military took over Thailand is that, to a large extent, they’ve failed to make most of the regional, let alone global, headlines.
So far only The Japan Times appears to have featured the news on the front page of its print edition.
You really cannot estimate the damage to Thailand’s reputation that these protests cause in the minds of overseas property buyers and investors, especially for those who are not familiar with Thailand.
The facts, which often get lost in dramatic images and headlines, are that yesterday’s protests were extremely small, and only happened in one very small part of what is a very large city.
Overseas property buyers and investors really shouldn’t change their plans for buying or investing in Thailand property.
In my twelve years in Thailand I’ve lived through several coups and states of emergency, but the fact is that if I had purchased property on the day I arrived in May 2006, I would have at least double my money.
Despite the protests and political disruptions, Thailand always bounces back.
And the property sector remains almost untouched.
Yes, dramatic news headlines do change the intentions of a small minority of uniformed investors but they are ultimately the losers.
Foreigners have never been the target of any of Thailand’s political wrangling; foreigners whether tourists or investors are too valuable to the kingdom.
If you’re reading headlines about ‘Trouble in Thailand’ take a moment to understand that even in my 12 years there have been incidents. It happens, but personally I have never changed my love for living in Thailand.
To end, I will leave you with this anecdote that comes from a man who invests in Thailand stocks for a living.
His attitude is that Thailand, and that includes property because he owns here, will remain fundamentally strong.
He once told me: “When there’s blood on the streets, that’s the time to invest.”
We do not have blood on the streets of Bangkok this week, but anyone outside Thailand fearing the country is about to implode should take note of these words.
Whatever your political views, now might be as good a time as any to invest in Thailand property and real estate.
Front pages images from The Nation in Thailand.