Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Foreign Ownership Rules for Condos in Bangkok

Owning a condominium, or, condo unit, is regarded as the easiest as well as the most practical way for foreigners to acquire a property in Bangkok. In other words, condo is perhaps the biggest and most favored investment option for foreigners who prefer to stay in Bangkok.

Purchasing a condo in Bangkok is comparatively cheap in contrast to other Asian cities such as Singapore, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. When it costs billions of dollars for a typical condominium unit in cities like Hong Kong and Singapore, you can easily own a condominium complete with luxurious bedrooms and facilities such as swimming pool, for just around $700,000.

However, condominium investment in Bangkok is mostly based on the spot where it is located as well as the convenient transportation. For instance, condominium complexes located in such posh areas as central business district (CBD), BTS, and MRT stations are much sought after.

Since they can considerably cut down the transportation cost and can eliminate the chaos of traveling to and fro your work place, condos located close to Skytrain and subway routes are also of great demand. Likewise, condominium units near strategic shopping areas including Sathorn, Silom, Sukhumvit areas, and Rama III areas are also much preferred by the foreigners.

Depending upon the buyers' taste, budget, and choice of location, condominium units in Bangkok come in a myriad of options such as small studios, three-bedroom complexes, and penthouses. Majority of the condo property found in the city's areas like Sathorn and Sukhumvit, and vary in size between 55 to 60 sqm and 75 to 80 sqm. For investors seeking luxurious condominiums, then a myriad of high-end choices are available in the form of three-bedroom units, ranging in size between 100 sqm to 120 sqm and 140 sqm to 200 sqm.

When comes to prices, the cost of a condo unit in prime areas such as Silom and Sukhumvit are about Bt100, 000 per square meter. Investing in these strategic locations have high resale value, and can also fetch you good income in the form of rent. The prices are even higher for condominiums located in areas including Soi Langsuan and Wireless, Rajdamri or Sathorn roads, which is up to about Bt200, 000 per square meter. The demand for condominium is at its peak now in the capital city. Nowadays, many investors, both foreigners and locals, purchase condos in Bangkok pre-build.

According to certain records, foreign investors have been accounted for about 15% of all condo units bought and sold last year in Bangkok. Factors such as low rates on mortgages, excess liquidity in the financial and banking system and tremendous boom in stock market have led many foreigners to invest in condominiums in Bangkok.

Above all, the laws pertaining to owning a condominium is quite simple and liberal when compared to other Asian cities. In other words, a condominium or condo is the only type of property that can be legally purchased by a foreigner in Thailand. The only restriction for a foreigner to purchase a condo is that a foreigner can normally acquire up to, but not exceeding 49% of a condo property.

However, in order to qualify for condominium ownership or buy a condo unit in Thailand, it is mandatory for the foreigners to meet any of the five criteria put forward by the Condominium Act B.E 2535 (1992) such as:

- To possess a residence permit
- A foreigner with the permit to stay in Thailand according to the Investment Promotion Law
- Foreigner who is able to bring in the entire money for purchasing the condominium unit in the country in foreign currency
- Foreign juristic entity with BOI privileges in the country
- Foreign juristic person possessing some land right as per stated in the Land Code
In addition, there are certain requirements for purchasing a condominium in Thailand, such as, the foreigner must have a bank account in the country and a copy of the foreigners' passport showing an immigration stamp that he or she is in the country at the time of the purchase of a condominium.

Mostly, foreigners own a condominium unit in the city by bringing in 100% of funds for the purchase of condo unit in foreign currency. Further, it is necessary that funds that have been used for the purchase of condominium are correctly recorded on a Foreign Exchange Transaction Form, which is a bank account issued by the bank on receiving foreign currency into your bank account in the country. It is also important to state in the Foreign Exchange Transaction Form that the remittance has been solely made for the purchase of a condominium in Thailand.

A plethora of property builders and realtors are in the scenario to find you a condominium unit that goes with your requirements. Today, many of them have their own sites on the web, inclusive detailed description on property, digital photos of the property, detailed floor plan, and a location map. This in turn allows you to easily select a condominium according to your taste and pocket.

Author: Wantanee Khamkongkaew

About the Author:

Wantanee K. is an independent author evaluating and commenting on leading International Property Consultants in Thailand, especially CB Richard Ellis.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/real-estate-articles/foreign-ownership-rules-for-condos-in-bangkok-288567.html