Bangkok Property Investment

Bangkok is the capital of Thailand and the country’s major population center. It is a vibrant and international city with world class restaurants, entertainment venues, shopping malls, services, transportation, and conveniences. Its new Suvarnabhumi International Airport handles the largest volume of passengers ever. Bangkok has the entire bustle of a big city but prices remain relatively low compared to other major cities in the world. And, Bangkok seems to be unaffected by the recent economic recession with new condominium and office developments in progress all over the city.

Although development is booming, domestic buyers are reported to dominate the Bangkok market. Probably one of the biggest reasons for this is because of traffic congestion in the city. Availability of automobile parking also continues to be a problem. Bangkok’s Sky Train (BTS) and underground metro system (MRT) have helped to alleviate a lot of this traffic but congestion still remains. So, developers are building along the BTS and MRT routes so that Thai buyers can move in closer to the business center and have ready access to the train systems. However, it has been reported that some developers are concerned that current projects will create a supply surplus because foreign investors are not looking to buy property in Bangkok. This could be because of restrictions for foreign ownership and recent political unrest.

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Property prices in Bangkok vary with the most expensive around the Central Lumpini-Silom-Sathorn area. This is because these units are closest to the main business district and embassy areas. However, condominiums in this same area tend to have higher resale value. Condominiums at the entry level are priced to buy at 60 million Thai Baht (about $20 million US) and below. Midrange runs between 60 million Thai Baht and 100 million Thai Baht and the high end and luxury condominiums start at 100 million Thai Baht and can price above 180 million Thai Baht. Currently, the exchange rate in U.S. Dollars is 30 Thai Baht to 1 U.S. Dollar. So, dividing Thai Baht amounts by 30 will give you the price in U.S. Dollars.

The most popular locations for condominiums are usually linked by public rapid transit sources. These areas are Silom/Sathorn, Central Lumpini, Sukhumvit, Pathumwan, Rama III, Riverside, Thonburi, Sukumvit On Nut area (Sukumvit Soi 44-76), Ratchadapisek, Ladphrao, and Paholyothin. Recently, the Silom/Sathorn area started a rapid bus service (BRT) that connects the Rama III area with the BTS. It has proven to be beneficial for getting residents to the Chongnansi BTS station. There are several condominiums going up in the area close to the On Nut BTS Station. These include the Link Advance 2, The Next Condominium, and The Innovative Living Condominium.

The infrastructure in Bangkok is well developed. During the seasons with higher rainfall from May until around November, Bangkok has occasional flooding. However, most of the city tends to have good drainage systems. Some areas such as the Bang Na district tend to flood more often. In addition to the MRT and BTS systems, the city also has a new high-speed train known as the Airport Link which eases transportation to the airport. And, the auto toll-way is very well maintained and you can get across the city rather quickly.

Foreigners can own a condominium in Thailand. They cannot own the land it is on and the overall building that the unit is a part of must by majority owned by a Thai. In order for a foreigner to purchase a condominium in Bangkok, the money has to be transferred from a bank outside of Thailand.