The reopening of China to international travel for the first time in three years following the announcement to lift the stringent COVID-19 lockdown measures from January 8th onwards has garnered significant attention globally, including in Thailand.
The Thai tourism and real estate industries are eagerly hoping that the return of Chinese travelers will revive the battered market conditions instantly, as some expect that more than five million Chinese will flood into the country throughout 2023.
In particular, the condominium market is expected to see better activity than the high-end housing market, as laws allowing foreign ownership of up to 49% of condominium units have helped boost the market.
Also, it’s not just Chinese buyers who are purchasing Thai condominiums. Russian, American, British, German, French, and Asian buyers from countries such as Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, and India are also interested in purchasing Thai condominiums, although not to the same extent as Chinese buyers, who account for around 50% of the market.
According to data from the Real Estate Information Center (REIC), there were more than 50,000 foreign-owned condominium units in Thailand, worth more than 230 billion Baht from 2018-2022. The value of foreign-owned condominium units in 2023 is also expected to increase by 20%.
Wichai Wiratkaphan, acting director of the REIC, told the Thai media, “Over the past five years, Chinese buyers have the highest number of condominium purchases at more than 124 billion Baht or 50% of all the foreign property transfer record. Despite a decrease of 55-60% last year due to the Zero-Covid policy, China’s opening of the country will help Thailand’s foreign condominium market grow again in the second half of 2023.”
Other than that, the REIC estimates that there are 63,473 remaining condominium units in the Bangkok metropolitan area, worth 274 billion baht. 18,323 of these units are unsold, completed condominiums, with the majority located in Bangkok (70%).
The top 5 locations with the highest number of unsold units are:
- Huai Khwang-Chatuchak-Din Daeng, with 9,270 units
- Nonthaburi-Pak Kret, with 6,760 units
- Phra Khanong-Bang Na-Suan Luang-Prawet, with 6,599 units
- Thon Buri-Khlong San-Bangkok Noi-Bangkok Yai-Bang Phlat, with 6,306 units
- Sukhumvit, with 5,492 units