Chinese buyers are the largest foreign buying nationality of Thailand property, and evidence suggests the kingdom is only seeing the tip of an iceberg.
More upper-middle-class Chinese are obtaining passports and investing in overseas real estate, and that number is set to increase in the coming months and years.
With its proximity, tourism infrastructure, affordably-priced properties, and culture, Thailand appeals as the ﬁrst forays of these investors who are relatively unsophisticated and less affluent than wealthy buyers who have been active in many overseas markets.
This low rate of passport possession suggests many Chinese who can afford to invest in international real estate have not yet travelled abroad.
With the number of Chinese passport holders set to double during the next three years, there is a fast-growing pool of Chinese who are set to acquire their ﬁrst overseas property.
One prominent Chinese overseas property media company said it expects acquisitions by this new group of buyers to be in markets that are familiar and relatively low priced, and Thailand ranks high on the list of both criteria.
In part, Thailand’s familiarity stems from its position as a perennial favourite among vacation destinations for Chinese.
From past experiences in countries like Australia, New Zealand, and the U.K., many Chinese buyers choose to make their first investment in countries they have visited as tourists.
Notably, Thailand has been voted a top-three global leisure destination in a survey of Chinese travellers by brokerage and investment group CLSA, and it was also the most popular destination in 2017 for Chinese tourists, according to China’s leading travel portal Ctrip.
A survey conducted by Juwai.com of consumers with an interest in international property buying in early 2018 also found that Thailand is a top destination this year – with some 61 percent of all those Chinese expecting to travel within Asia selected Thailand as their top pick.
Importantly, 77 percent of these Chinese travellers intend to buy property this year, and six out of 10 of this latter group expect to purchase property in their vacation destination.
Carrie Law, the CEO and Director of Juwai.com, told ThailandProperty.News: “Southeast Asia has been gaining Chinese buyer market share faster than any other global region since early 2017.”
“The top Southeast Asian countries for Chinese buyers are Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines. Even smaller countries like Cambodia are seeing very rapid growth in Chinese buying – although from a much smaller base.”
“The biggest drivers are the lower prices, and the fact that they seem to have government blessing as Belt and Road Initiative countries.”
“Capital controls are constraining the amount Chinese buyers can spend, so they have turned to lower-priced countries and lower-priced property even in high-cost countries like Australia.”
Note: Andrew Batt, the founder and editor of ThailandProperty.News is the sole current Thailand expert content contributor for Juwai.com.