Living in a metropolis like Kuala Lumpur is no easy feat!
From wondering about crime rates to traffic problems, the quality of local hospitals and schools, it’s never easy finding a place to live.
Kuala Lumpur is a diverse city in many aspects; the variety of areas on offer are really astonishing; it’s certainly one of the best places to live in Malaysia.
The following list should help you narrow down a few places that each have its own traits!
1. KL Sentral
Dubbed the transportation hub of Kuala Lumpur, if getting around the city is one of your major concerns, then KL Sentral is the place for you.
Connecting a multitude of transportation modes, staying in this area means you’re just a ‘hop, skip and jump’ away from exploring the country (source).
Situated atop a small ‘hill’, this area is home to many commercial buildings and hotels due to its connectivity.
In recent years, there have been high rise condos sprouting up as well.
Suasana Sentral Condominium and Suasana Sentral Loft are such buildings that house a mix of expats and locals, alike.
In fact, the swanky new development that’s in the works – Sentral Suites – offers great living standards for city-dwellers.
Coupled with the Nu Sentral Mall right next door to the Sentral station, this area is as urban as it gets.
Like living in a city, but want the feel of a suburb?
Bangsar is a neighbourhood that offers peace and quiet, yet is home to the city’s best restaurants, bars and eateries.
Rows of bungalows and terraced houses line the streets of this neighbourhood, housing a blend of cultures from local Malays to foreign expats.
Property prices are on a higher-end here as the area boasts numerous shopping malls, a thriving night-market and even has the famous Pantai Hospital in the vicinity.
However, Bangsar doesn’t have many schools, local or international, close by (source).
As Bangsar is quite an old area of Kuala Lumpur, new property launches are limited.
However, it does have a few high-rise apartment complexes and multiple landed properties. A few of these include Suasana Bangsar, Bangsar Aman and The Nomad Residences.
3. Mont Kiara and Sri Hartamas
Mont Kiara is an affluent township that houses most of the expats in Kuala Lumpur.
Home to a number of international schools such as Mont Kiara International School and Garden International School, expat and local families mostly seek after this area.
It’s the perfect ‘suburban bubble’ with quiet streets, a few small malls and loads of greenery.
Housing is not a problem at all in this area, with large property developments in abundance.
From high-rise condos to gated communities, you can find semi detached houses, serviced apartments and stand-alone properties to name a few (source).
Properties in Mont Kiara do cater to a more upscale audience, but due to the sheer number of buildings in the area (supply), you can always grab a good deal or two.
You’ll find that the most popular buildings around the zone include Icon Residence, Verve Suites, Kinrara Residence and Seni Mont Kiara.
If you’re looking for a gated community, then Dusa Nusantara on the outskirts of Mont Kiara offers great amenities.
It’s good to bear in mind though, that Mont Kiara is around 20 minutes away from the city centre, and traffic during peak hours is quite the headache…
Currently the area is not connected by public transport, and having a car is a must.
However, RapidKL is fast building train lines that should soon connect the township to the rest of KL (source).
4. Subang Jaya
Subang Jaya is quite a big area in Kuala Lumpur, and you can find pretty much anything here. From hipster cafes to boutiques, Subang Jaya offers a compact living experience for many.
SS15 acts as the town central for the area, and here you can find commercial banks and international F&B outlets as well.
Further along, USJ and the Sunway development caters to the young crowd with loads of attractions such as malls (Sunway Pyramid, One City, The Summit) and even a waterpark called Sunway Lagoon (source).
Housing in this area is quite affordable, and there are various types of properties you can choose from.
Landed properties and high-rise buildings around USJ are easy to find. If you’re looking for a serviced apartment, USJ One offers all the amenities you would require and more.
Other properties include USJ One Park and One City (a ‘city’ within a city offering parks, recreation centres and retail outlets as well!).
A mere 18 kilometres away from the city centre, Subang Jaya has a great network of public transport that takes you around the area and even to Kuala Lumpur.
What’s more, Subang Jaya is termed an ‘education village’ with top universities such as Monash University, Sunway University, Taylor’s University and a number of schools around the vicinity.
5. Damansara Perdana and Taman Tun Dr Ismail
Damansara Perdana – an area originally occupied by the Orang Asli (source), this township has fast become a haven for investors and property developers.
A relatively newer area (things started kicking up during the 1990s), there’s a great variety of residential and commercial properties around the area catering to a wide range of home-dwellers.
In recent years, this area, also known as being situated in the Golden triangle of Petaling Jaya, has been the most sought after address in the city.
From business ventures to residential properties, Damansara Perdana is quite popular amongst investors who see great potential in the district.
While the majority of homes here are low-rise bungalows, some high-rise buildings include the prestigious Armenee Terrace 2, Perdana Exclusive and Ritze Perdana.
Here you’ll find the popular malls such as The Curve, Ikea, and many other entertainment centres.
People also flock to the nearby Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) and Mutiara Damansara for the local hawker joints that grace the area.
A five-minute drive and you reach Mont Kiara, and various highway lines such as the NKVE, LDP and Sprint service you to the rest of the Klang Valley (source).
6. Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC)
Whenever someone thinks of Kuala Lumpur, chances are they’re also thinking about the well-known Petronas Twin Towers.
Well, if you’d fancy living smack dab in the middle of the city with the towers as your everyday view, then the City Centre is the right place for you.
Turning a deaf ear to the construction and traffic noises in the area, this concrete jungle boasts affluent condominiums, shopping centres, five star hotels, a charming public park and multiple office addresses.
While you will be paying a hefty sum for the address, you’ll be happy with the luxury the buildings here offer.
In fact, the residential towers of Binjai On the Park are known to be one of the most expensive properties in Malaysia (one penthouse was sold for a whooping RM 50 million! (source).
Other great residences around the area include Binjai 8 and Idaman Residence just to name a few.
While traffic can be a bit of a hassle in the centre, living and working in KLCC ensures your commute may not be so troublesome after all.
This elite neighbourhood accommodates most of the foreign embassies along the ‘Embassy Row’.
Due to the diplomat crowd, there are also various international schools in the area such as Sayfol International School and International School of Kuala Lumpur.
A bare ten minutes away from KLCC, the streets of Ampang are relatively safe and peaceful with many expats and wealthy locals opting for high security gated communities such as UKay Heights and Kampung Warisan (an older development modelled after a resort-style living with lush greenery all around).
Popular condominiums include G Residences and The Elements among others (source).
The National Zoo is a fifteen-minute drive away, with many shopping malls scattered around the zone.
The many private hospitals it has to offer also means that finding a healthcare provider will not be a major issue.
Ampang is a great locale for many families as it has entertainment options, a safe environment and clean surroundings.
8. Seputeh and Taman Desa
Seputeh – home of the ever-famous Mid Valley City. This area is an established residential district that’s been around on the block for quite some time.
While it’s very easy to reach the city centre in a matter of minutes, the area offers the feel of community living with a common public park.
This centrally located area is home to a good balance of locals and expats, with many schools, a waterpark and places of worship within the area.
Some of the schooling options include SMJK Kuen Cheng, SMK Taman Desa, Vikas International School, Methodist College and Brickfields College.
The well-known Chinese Temple known as Thean Hou Temple is also easily accessible to residents.
There are a number of local Chinese and Malaysian restaurants around the area as well.
In addition, Seputeh is geographically close to KL Sentral as well, making public transport a non-issue.
Accommodating your guests would also not be a problem with hotels such as The Gardens Hotel and Cititel MidValley in the area, along with shopping malls such as The Gardens Mall and Plaza OUG.
9. Desa Park City
When this development was in the works, the developers envisioned a suburban area that mixes the country feel with that of a city life.
And indeed, Desa Park City caters to those who want to unwind and enjoy their life on the outskirts of the city, yet have all the amenities they could want at the touch of their fingertips.
This self sufficient ‘city’ contains shops, restaurants, jogging tracks all at the edge of a huge man-made lake called The Waterfront.
Blocks of condominiums line the rest of the area, with gated communities of bungalows and semi Ds as well.
The idea of walking or cycling to school is unheard of in KL, yet in Desa Park City due to the excellent infrastructure kids can do just that!
Having an international school, clubhouse for residents, hospitals and a lot more, this development certainly tops the cake!
Better yet, it’s easily accessible via the major highways within the city (source).
10. Setapak and Wangsa Maju
Setapak, an area rich with Chinese history, is situated just outside the suburb of Kuala Lumpur city centre and is rapidly becoming an urban landscape worth taking note of.
With Chinese temples, and the historically famous Loke Yew Hill, this area houses high rise buildings as well as low-rise flats and apartments.
Genting Court, Villa Wangsamas and Riana Green East are worth taking a look at if you’re interested in the area.
The National Zoo and the Titiwangsa Recreational Park is great for exploring on a lazy Sunday afternoon since traffic during offices hours is a little congested in the area.
This area is well served by railway lines and highways as well.
The real estate market is emerging all around the world, and Asia is no exception. Asia’s real estate market is showing a great resilience despite the last financial crisis, and it is currently on its way to compete with global real estate markets.
Here is a list of the top 7 Asian cities known for their growing real estate market.
1- Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s housing market recorded a noticeable rise in capital values in last December that hasn’t been witnessed in five years. This surge lifted the full-year growth to 15.8%, according to JLL’s latest Hong Kong Property Market Monitor.
This rise is expected to continue all throughout 2018 where housing prices are expected to increase a further 10% this year if the market goes on the same pace.
What even makes Hong Kong’s housing market on fire is the high market sentiment where sales in the government land and primary sales markets remain strong year-on-year.
Japan is one market that will always be attractive to international real estate investors for it is one of the most modern out cities in all of Asia. The market’s high yields are one of the many reasons driving investors towards investing in Tokyo’s real estate market.
The residential sector is one of the strongest sectors in Tokyo’s real estate market since occupancy levels are relatively high and rents are almost stable.
Nowadays, Tokyo offers extremely profitable investment opportunities, and that is all because of Bank of Japan’s negative interest rate policy coupled with the relatively weak yen, which will make overseas investors gain substantial returns in Japan’s real estate market, according to Mandy Wong, Head of International Residential Property Services at JLL Hong Kong.
Taiwan’s real estate market has been suffering a lot over the last couple of years. However, things have turned around as house prices are rising gradually and demand is surging, not to mention the gained activity in residential construction.
Recent figures showed that during the latest quarter (Q2, 2017), nationwide house prices rose by 1.48% and almost all of Taiwan’s major cities witnessed a remarkable improvement in their real estate activities.
And based on government statistics, property transactions in Taiwan’s major metropolitan areas (Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung) rose by 20% during the first six months of 2017 when compared to the same period in 2016, which indicates a remarkable growth in the market’s overall performance.
For so long now, Singapore’s housing market has been driven by domestic buyers; however, foreign interest is expected to return to the real estate scene especially that now home prices are recovering after their last fall in 2013.
According to a survey by Bloomberg, Singapore’s home prices witnessed a rise for the last two consecutive quarters and are expected to increase by about 5.5% this year, all of which indicated that the market is finally recovering.
It is safe to say that investor’s confidence in Singapore’s real estate market is on its way back especially after the jump recorded in home sales and aggressive bids for land by developers.
China’s housing market is expected to run strong with no dramatic ups or downs anytime soon, all of which makes it one of Asia’s stable markets. It is worth mentioning that in 2017, the sales of commercial buildings also topped 13 trillion yuan, registering an increase of 13.7% year-on-year.
A recent report by Centaline Property Agency showed that 73% of the listed real estate firms have good performance in 2017 and among the 82 firms, around 29 are expected to announce a 100% year-on-year surge in their profits.
According to Ouyang Jie, senior vice-president at real estate developer Future Land, he mentioned that commercial properties sales are expected to rise in core areas such as Beijing and Shanghai which makes them a valuable investment.
Bangkok’s real estate market is expected to grow in 2018. Demands across the market witnessed an increase from domestic home buyers and expatriates alike.
Such influx of buyers especially foreign ones has encouraged big-name developers to launch a new supply that offers innovative amenities which focus more on experiences and future lifestyle.
Affordable units also are expected to enter the real estate market in 2018, all of which will drive buyers in the mid-range market segment to invest. And with the gigantic public transport changes and the mass transit routes happening in the city at the moment, the real estate sector in Bangkok will continue to see a huge demand.
7- Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam’s largest and active cities with a population that is almost the same as New York City, all of which make the city invest heavily in infrastructure to accommodate the city’s growing population.
It is expected that by the year 2020, the supply of luxury real estate in the city will have an additional 5,000 units.
According to CBRE’s “Real Estate Market Insights” report for 20187 third quarter, 88% of luxury units were sold, and prices increased by 8% year-over-year.
PETALING JAYA (May 17): With zero-rated Goods and Service Tax (GST) beginning next month, property consultants expect it to be a fresh lead that encourages purchasers to end the wait-and-see approach and make their buying decision.
Knight Frank Malaysia managing director Sarkunan Subramaniam opines that the zero-rated GST as a smart move for new government in the transition period to stimulate the market.
* Hillcrest Gardens reduces Hillcrest Heights condo price by 3% immediately
* Rehda: Property prices to drop with zero GST
* S P Setia: Proposed zero-rated GST may boost local property market’s buyer sentiment
* Maybank Investment: GST zero rate positive but needs more clarity
* Tax consultants: Zero-rated GST could spur market sentiment
He noted that the abolition of the GST or the return to the Sales and Service Tax must go through Parliament, which will take time, meaning it will leave the market in a longer period of uncertainty.
“With the announcement of zero-rated GST, property buyers who intend to purchase commercial properties can now make their decisions as the transaction price will now [from June 1] be cheaper, as they do not need to pay the 6% GST.
“For residential properties, as building and raw materials will not be charged 6% GST, the selling price is expected to reduce,” he tells EdgeProp.my.
However, Sarkunan noted that even though GST is now “zerorised”, there won’t be significant price cut in short term as the raw material inventories which are purchased by developers have been charged GST.
He added that it will take some time for the market to react but if more developers promote lower prices as part of their marketing campaigns, the competition will speed up the effect which will benefit homebuyers.
Meanwhile, CBRE|WTW Malaysia managing director Foo Gee Jen believes that zero-rated GST will provide a small boost to the general property market as about two-thirds of the market is dominated by residential property, which is exempted from GST.
“It [the zero-rated GST] is a positive thing in the light of the slowdown in property market and I believe it will provide a cushion to the slowdown and result in cost reduction for developers,” he says.
He foresees that developers will enjoy a cost reduction of 2% to 3% in the residential property sector and 5% to 7% in the commercial and industrial sector due to the cost savings from goods and services taxed under GST, such as consultation fees and building materials.
“I hope that developers will pass on the cost saving to consumers by reducing the selling prices of their products in line with the cost reduction,” he stresses.
The new Pakatan Harapan government yesterday announced the zero-rating of the 6% GST effective June 1 this year.
Presently, commercial properties are standard-rated, meaning that developers are allowed to charge buyers the full 6%.
Meanwhile, residential properties are exempted, which means buyers are not charged GST, but the tax applies to materials and input procurement.
Over the past few years, the ringgit has weakened considerably, and many Malaysian investors have regretted missing out on an opportunity to invest abroad when the ringgit was stronger.
With the recent rebound in ringgit, an increasing number of Malaysian investors are now considering property investments abroad including in Bangkok, Thailand which is fast becoming a major property market among international investors.
For those of you who may be considering investing in Bangkok or Thailand, here are 7 things to take note of:
It offers the same favorable fundamentals as other major real estate markets globally. The Thailand real estate market is expected to grow by 6% – 8%, spurred by the government’s plans to further enhance transportation infrastructure (Mass Rapid Transit) notwithstanding a US$45 billion investment to develop the Eastern Economic Corridor and entry to Bangkok which will see huge investments in infrastructure and tax incentives to attract direct foreign investment.
Last year, Thailand welcomed a record-breaking number of more than 35 Million visitors from all over the world, maintaining it’s position as Asia’s most visited tourist destination. And with the expanding tourism industry, we are seeing exponential growth in demand for short-term rental contracts and holiday homes, in particular for those close to BTS stations.
Based on CBRE Thailand’s property report, the average price of a high-end condominium in Bangkok is about THB 11,148– 18,580/sqft (MYR 1,389 – 2,316/sqft) depending on its location.
Although newly launched luxury units in the CBD have seen prices rise due to strong demand from foreign investors and expatriates, it is still significantly lower than prices in other markets such as Singapore, Hong Kong and London.
According to Knight Frank Research, five-year capital gains from 1Q2012 to 1Q2017 for high-end condos in Bangkok was around 51.3%.
Assuming that you invested in a 1-bedroom condominium at 2 Mil THB (249,213 MYR) in 2012, your 1-Bedroom will now be worth more than 3 Mil THB (373,820 MYR), even as it continues to yield rental income.
It is however not too late to enter the game. According to CBRE Thailand, properties close to mass rapid transport like MRT and BTS will likely continue to surge in price due to the high demand from local and foreign home buyers coupled with the scarcity of good sites in central Bangkok.
In Thailand, foreigners are allowed to purchase and own freehold condominiums up to 49% of the total number of all units. Buying a freehold condominium is therefore an ideal option for those who are looking to buy and own freehold property.
Thailand is friendly towards foreign investment unlike most countries where foreigners may be required to pay additional property tax. Contracts are mostly written in Thai but are translated into English.
In terms of taxes and fees, buyer acquisition cost is only at 1.5% of the property price – stamp duty at only 0.5% plus transfer fees of 1%, with no legal fees involved.
On top of the attractive tax structure for foreign buyers, it is also relatively easy for property owners to sell their Thai home. You can sell to anyone be it a local or a foreigner, there is no restriction and no seller stamp duty or any minimum investment period, another reason why so many foreign investors favour Thailand in comparison to investing in traditional markets such as London, Australia or Singapore, where there are often additional taxes and fees for foreigner to purchase or sell a property.
This competitive tax structure coupled with the comparatively low entry price point makes it attractive for foreigners to enter the Thai property market.
Similar to buying a property in Malaysia, it is important to choose a well-established developer. Not only would they have professional legal advisory service for you, leading developers, such as Sansiri, would also include after sales services such as Property Management and Residential Leasing services to provide a hassle-free solution for foreign investors.
Being one of the leading developers in Thailand, Sansiri is known for its portfolio of diverse range of properties, from Entry-level developments like “The Base” to Mid-range condominiums like “The Line” to Super Luxury trophy assets like “98 Wireless”.
Sansiri’s developments have always been favoured by property buyers, including foreign investors. All Sansiri projects, be it entry-level to luxury-range, are strategically located close to CBD and BTS and features top of the line facilities with an international standard concierge service. On top of that, Sansiri offers one of the best property management services in Thailand to help non-residents rent out their property and achieve the best possible deal.
The leading Thai Developer recently brought to KL, one of its landmark developments in Bangkok, The Line 101. During the launch event last weekend (24 & 25 March), Sansiri’s Country Manager of the Singapore and Malaysia Region, gave a detailed speech on the investment outlook of Bangkok’s property market, enticing more property investors in KL to consider adding a Bangkok property into their investment portfolio. For those of you who missed the launch event, you can leave Sansiri a message to find out about their latest property, The Line 101, or the investment outlook of Bangkok.
Bangkok is rapidly transforming and its urban landscape is constantly being reshaped. This vibrant regeneration and the relentless pace of its development, is creating massive opportunities for property investors.
However due to Bangkok’s language barrier and unique property standards, foreign investors are often uncertain where to start their search and what to expect. In many cases, the overload of conflicting information provided by online resources, property agents, developers and other investors can create even more confusion!
This guide will aim to simplify the process of buying Condos, providing a straightforward and easy to follow roadmap!
In this guide we will explore, the following topics:
Section 1: Can Foreigners Own Property in Thailand?
Section 2: Market Research and Resources
Section 3: Property Search Factors to Consider
Section 4: The Buying Process
Section 5: Condo Financing and Mortgages
Section 6: Pre-Launch and Off-Plan Condo Projects
Section 1: Can Foreigners Own Property in Thailand?
Thai Property Law is actually very straightforward when it comes to foreign property ownership. To keep things simple, Foreigners are allowed to own:
– “Freehold Condominiums” simply known as “Condos”
– Building and/or structures (Distinct from the land they sits on)
It is important to note, Foreigners cannot directly own “Land” in Thailand.
“Condominium Freehold” is a special Legal Title and is the most straightforward form of property ownership for foreign nationals. Condo Laws and Regulations are contained within the Condominium Act B.E 1979 and its subsequent amendments. Explained simply, Condominium Freeholds are:
A division of a building into individual condominium units; whereby each condo benefits from proportional co-ownership of common areas (I.e. Condo Facilities, Pool, Gym, Car Park, etc.) and interest in the co-owner association/ juristic person office.
According to the Condominium Act:
Foreigners are legally able to purchase up to 49% of the registrable area of a Condominium Project (Foreign Quota). The remaining 51% can only be owned by Thai nationals or Thai entities.
Therefore foreigners looking for a straightforward and hassle free property in Bangkok, is advised to consider buying a condo.
For additional info about foreign property ownership laws and regulations in Thailand read: Can Foreigners Own Property in Thailand?
Section 2: Market Research and Resources
Bangkok has a multitude of neighborhoods and literally hundreds of potential Condo Projects. Therefore it is important to do careful due diligence into local market conditions and general rental demand for an area.
The old mantra “Location, Location, Location”, is an important rule that plays a huge role in finding a lucrative condo investment. Some general market trends, to kick-start your search:
– Bangkok’s Rental Market is primarily expat-led and this market tends to cluster within the Central Business District or within peripheral areas with convenient travel times to central Bangkok.
– Expat rental demand tends to cluster around the following popular neighborhoods:
Sukhumvit (BTS Nana- On Nut)
Silom-Sathorn (BTS Saladaeng/MRT Silom- BTS Sapan Thaksin)
Wireless-Ploenchit (BTS Ploenchit, BTS Chidlom, BTS Ratchadamri)
– Bangkok’s Rental Yields tend to range between 4-6% with most condos offering returns of 4.5-5.5%.
For a guide to Bangkok’s Central Business District read: Where is Bangkok’s Central Business District?
Unfortunately most reports and market data tends to be available only in Thai. However a few good English resources to get an overview of general market conditions and trends include:
– Property Consultancy Reports
A few Property Consultancies publish quarterly or annual market trend reports that can provide insights into Bangkok’s dynamic property industry. This includes CBRE Thailand and Knight Frank Thailand.
– Newspapers and News Outlets
The Bangkok Post and The Nation newspaper are two national newspapers with active Property Editorials.
– Exhibition and Events
Another way to get a feel for general market is to attend Property Exhibitions by Developers that are popular with local buyers. The biggest event for Bangkok is the “House and Condo Show” that takes places twice a year and showcases the projects of some of the capital’s top developers.
Section 3: Property Search Factors to Consider
Starting a property search in Bangkok can be incredibly overwhelming, especially with the multitude of condo projects offered. In Bangkok, 3 Fundamental Factors tend to determine the attractiveness and potential success of a property:
In Bangkok where traffic congestion is a daily struggle, residents rely heavily on the Mass Transit Lines (BTS/MRT). Location is everything and any potential investor looking for a viable buy-to-let investment usually needs to consider Projects within close proximity to a BTS or MRT Station.
Secondly, it is important to do careful research into the dynamics and demographics of the local neighborhood. As certain areas are more popular than others and by understanding local residents it is possible to establish the right rental rates and sales price-levels to consider.
2. Condo Project and Property Specifications
Linked to the “location factor”, it is important to quickly establish the price-to-size (Sqm.) ratio. By calculating the price per square meter of a specific property it is possible to do an evaluation of that price compared to other units in the project; possibly even comparing the price per square meter of a specific property to other condos in neighboring projects.
It is also important to consider the Condos general layout, size, floor and orientation. Finally Condos in Bangkok now offer a range of facilities and residents have come to expect high-quality common areas. Therefore be sure to evaluate the facilities such as the lobby, pool, gym, etc.
3. Developer and Building Management
In Bangkok, the local market is increasingly brand driven and the projects of certain developers are highly sought after. While not imperative, it is always a good idea to consider Projects from well-known developers as they tend to benefit from more market recognition and are usually more popular.
Secondly, Projects from established developers usually benefit from well-planned building management operations. Some of the capital’s top developers have even setup facilities management subsidiaries to run and manage their developments. Building management and maintenance is a key factor in ensuring that the condo holds its value.
Read more about Bangkok’s Top Residential Developers: Brief Bangkok Condo Developer Guide
Section 4: The Buying Process
In this section, the buying process for foreigners from “offer to transfer” will be simplified and explained in easy-to-follow steps:
Step 1: Offer and Negotiations
Once you have found the right property, the negotiations can start. When making an offer it is always important to carefully mention and agree upon:
– Desired Sales Price
– Sales Taxes and Transfer Fees Share*
– Is the property sold fully-furnished, partially-furnished or non-furnished
– Approx. transfer date
*In Bangkok, the general standard is the Seller is responsible for all the Sales Taxes however Transfer Fees are generally shared equally 50/50 between both parties. This may not be the case for all transactions/ sellers and it is important to check rather than assume.
Step 2: Preliminary Checks, Offer Letter and Deposit Payment
At this stage, it is worth appointing a Lawyer especially before committing to any deposit or written agreement. Before proceeding to a more advanced stage of the process, a copy of the following documents should be requested:
– Chanote (Title Deed)
– Landlord ID or Passport
– Tabien Baan (House Registration Book)
– Property Agency Agreement (Showing that the Agent was instructed to act on behalf of the landlord)
With these documents, it will be possible to quickly establish whether the Seller and Agent have the authority to sell the property.
Once everything has been checked to avoid potential disagreements at a later stage in the process, it is important to obtain a written “offer letter or letter of understanding” (Signed by all parties Seller, Buyer and Agent as witness). This letter will outline agreed details of the purchase notably:
– Seller confirms he is the owner and has full authorization to sell the Condo
– Agreed Sales Price
– Deposit Amount
– Sales Taxes and Transfer Fees Share
– In case of unsuccessful transfer details of penalties for Seller and/or Buyer
– Is the property sold with furnishings or non-furnished
– Mutually Agreed Transfer Date
Payment of Security Deposit
Once an offer letter/letter of agreement is signed and confirmed by all parties (With copies of ID Certified), it is safe to pay a Deposit to reserve the Condo. There is no standard Deposit Amount; in Bangkok deposit amounts range from 3-5% of Sales Price. The Deposit Amount can usually be negotiated with the Seller on a case-by-case basis.
Step 3: Extra Due Diligence and Signing the Sales and Purchase Agreement
Once the Deposit is paid, the Property is officially taken-off the market and there is less pressure on the Seller and Buyer. Therefore this gives breathing space to the Buyer to conduct more extensive Legal Due Diligence.
Legal checks include:
– Compare Copy of Chanote (Title Deed) with original held at the Land office.
– Ensure there is no mortgage or charge on the Unit.
– Recheck all details of property provided (I.e. Size, Chanote Number, and Registered Owner)
Once all the legal due diligence process is completed, signing of the Sales and Purchase Agreement can take place.
Step 4: Property Transfer Preparations (Document Preparation and Buyer Foreign Money Transfer)
At this stage, the Lawyer and/or Property Agent will calculate the exact Government Taxes and Transfer Fees that will be due upon transfer. Also if the property was purchased using a Mortgage the exact split between the Bank/Financial Institution and the Seller will be calculated; if the property was acquired via a mortgage a Bank Officer will need to be present on the day of transfer to write-off the loan.
Buyer Document Preparation
The Buyer will need to prepare a few documents for the day of transfer:
– Original Passport
– Copy of Marriage Certificate (If Married)
– Spouse Consent Form (If Married)
– Again if married, Spouse will need to be present on transfer day (If this is not possible, a Power of Attorney will have to be prepared)
– Name of buyer’s mother and father (For Land Department records)
– Cashier Cheques and Cash (For Property, Bank/Financial Institution if applicable, and Government Taxes/Fees if applicable)
– Foreign Exchange Transaction Form (FET)
Buyer Foreign Money Transfer (Obtaining FET)
This is an important part of the purchase process for foreigners as it is an important step in complying with the Condominium Laws. In order to be permitted to buy a condominium in Thailand, the foreign buyer will need to prove that the whole amount of the purchase price declared at the Land Department was transferred in a Foreign Currency (From Overseas) into a local Thai Bank Account.
Therefore to comply with this regulation, a foreign buyer will need to ensure that:
– The name of remitter account must be the same as the name of buyer.
– Full address of remitter and buyer must be filled-in on Transfer Form details.
– Purchase funds must be transferred in foreign currency and converted to Thai Baht by beneficiary Thai Bank.
– State the purpose of transfer on transfer slip (I.e. Purchasing Condo Unit X in Building X)
*Please note, the amount of funds transferred needs to exceed the purchase price of the Condo Unit (Including applicable taxes)
If all the stipulations above are carefully followed, the buyer will be able to obtain an FET from their beneficiary bank.
Seller Document Preparation
The Seller will also need to prepare documents and items for transfer:
– Original Thai ID Card or Passport
– Copy of Marriage Certificate (If Married)
– Spouse Consent Form (If Married)
– Again if married, Spouse will need to be present on transfer day (If this is not possible, a Power of Attorney will have to be prepared)
– Original Chanote (Title Deed)
– Original Tabien Baan (House Registration Book)
– Foreign Quota Certificate
– Quit Claim Deed (Certificate of no debt issued by Condo Juristic Office)
– Electricity Meter Deposit Receipt and Up-to-date Utility Bills
– Warranty Cards of Electrical Appliances (If any)
– Original Developer Welcome Pack (If any)
– Keys, Key Cards, Access Cards, Parking Stickers, etc.
– Cashier Cheque and Cash (For the payment of Government Sales Taxes and Transfer Fees)
Step 5: Land Department Transfer and Post Formalities
Land Department Transfer
Each Condominium Project is within the catchment area of a specific Land Department Branch. The Property Agent or Lawyer can reconfirm the exact Land Department for transfer of the Unit.
Once all the paperwork and funds in Step 4 are ready, all parties can set an appointment at the Land Department to complete the transfer. If either the buyer or seller cannot be present on the day of transfer a Power of Attorney needs to be prepared beforehand. Also if the Unit is mortgaged, the representative from the Bank/Financial institution will need to be present on the day to write-off the loans on the Condo.
On the day of transfer it is important to ensure:
– Buyer prepares cashier’s cheques in the exact amount for the Seller and Bank/ Financial Institution (If Applicable). If buyer is also responsible for any Transfer Fees or Sales Taxes, they should prepare a cashier’s cheque below the required amount (Payable to the Thai Ministry of Finance) and prepare extra-cash for the remaining amount. This practice is followed, as the Land Department cannot accept cashier’s cheques above the Transfer Fees or Sales Taxes.
– Seller prepares a combination of cashier’s cheque and cash to pay for Transfer Fees and Sales Taxes.
If all the documents and funds have been correctly prepared the Land Officer will be able to successfully complete the transfer. The Seller’s name will be taken-off the Chanote (Title Deed) and replaced by the new buyer.
Once the transfer is complete the Seller will hand over his Chanote (Title Deed), Tabien Baan (House Registration Book) and all items relating to the property (Welcome Pack, Keys, Access Cards, etc.)
It is also important to ensure, transfer of utilities documents (Electricity and Water) have been signed and deposit of electricity receipt has been received. This is to ensure a smooth transfer of utilities to the new buyer. Finally it is also important to contact Building Management of the Condo and provide them with details of the new landlord for their records.
Section 5: Condo Financing and Mortgages
This is a hot topic and foreign investors always enquire about the possibility of obtaining financing to purchase Bangkok Condos. The short-answer is yes, certain banks and financial Institutions do provide mortgages to foreign nationals.
Unfortunately, it is important to note that generally speaking these Mortgages can be elusive and application requirements can be stringent. Therefore Thai financial institutions often only approve loans to buyers with strong financial profiles. Secondly the mortgage conditions, such as loan-to-value, repayment term and general interest rates tend to be offered at relatively uncompetitive rates compared to locals.
It is only advised to consider seeking financing, if the purpose of purchasing the property is to acquire a home rather than an on-going buy-to-let investment.
Some Companies that actively offer financing options to foreigners include:
– MBK Finance
– Bangkok Bank
Section 6: Pre-Launch and Off-Plan Condo Projects
Buying Condos off-plan is another potential investment opportunity that Bangkok is offering. Buying pre-launch or off-plan has numerous advantages notably:
– Foreign Buyers are usually required to make a down payment of only 30% of the Sales Price with the remaining 70% due on completion (Usually in 1-3 Years)
– Developers rely on unit bookings to finance the construction of the project, so several companies offer discounts, freebies (Furniture Packs, Electronic Appliances, etc.) or even rental guarantees to ensure a fast sale.
– Buyers benefit from today’s market price, for a Project that could potentially appreciate in value in 1-3 years’ time when completed.
In terms of paperwork and transfer once completed, the process is extremely straightforward as developers usually have legal teams to ensure a smooth sales process for foreign buyers.
It is important to note, that installment payments are transferred directly into the developer’s bank account; this ensures that Foreign Exchange Transaction Forms can be produced by the developer on behalf of the buyer. Once 100% of the sales price has been paid to the developer (On completion of the project), the developer will take care of transferring the Condo Unit into the buyer’s name at the Land Department.
Every year millions of tourists visit Bangkok, Thailand. Many of these tourists choose to stay longer while others prefer to come back during their next travel adventures. Why do many foreigners love this nation capital? One of the thousands of reasons why Bangkok is well loved by many is the fact that it is simply vibrant and exotic. Bangkok is a city that is made with a wonderful combination of nature, culture, history, and modernism. There are so much to see and so much to do in any of it major districts.
Since the advent of effective tourism in Bangkok, tourists from all corners of the earth choose to make stopovers here. Those who have learned to fully love the city even marry locals and love here. Thailand in general is a great place to settle down. When touring around its capital city, there are so many places that can entice tourists to settle down and stay longer. The fun sites and the unique party experience are something that can draw people to make the most of their stay in the city. Apart from the sites, there are comfortable hotels, apartments, and condominiums for travelers to rest and enjoy.
Living in Bangkok is being close to the culture and nature of the city. However, for some foreigners or expatriates, it is difficult for them to find homes to live permanently in this city. This is why the first step in investing in real estate in this city is by contacting a reliable real estate company or agent. There are numerous real estate companies online that do their jobs pretty well in catering to tourists needs. These agents will most likely recommend you to only purchase condominiums and apartments in Bangkok since outsiders are not allowed to own homes here.
Investing in real estate should be taken seriously. Pointing at a unit and saying “I want that one” is not enough. It is important to remember that investing in real estate means expecting a good return of investment. This is why it is always wise to find the best condo or apartment in Bangkok in order to achieve a much wonderful living experience in the city. al estate in Bangkok is quite affordable for expats. There are many available condos and service apartments in the city but making the best choice can sometimes be a daunting task.
Other than hiring a reliable real estate company such as Bangkokfinder.com, research is also an advisable step towards making real estate investments in Bangkok more effective. As part of this research it is equally critical to seek the help of our agents for a follow up . This can help any foreigner satisfaction to the maximum level along with profit with a new Bangkok condo or apartment. Investing in real estate, especially in a foreign country like Bangkok, may require intricate steps. However, once the papers are all set and living in a property is the next thing to be done, then the difficulties have finally paid off because staying in Bangkok is definitely worth it. We can help you in such exploration.
Aside from investing in start-ups in Southeast Asia, investing in real estate is one of the lucrative options out there. The potential for profit is attractive to new and experienced investors alike, but it is a risky business. The market value of properties changes from time to time, and any wise investor should know the right strategies to maximize profits.
As Rahul Varshneya writes in his Inc. article, “Gone are the days of stability — where you could spend 40 years working for the same company and retire comfortably. Nowadays, people are looking for alternative means for generating wealth and financial security.”
If you play it right, successful real estate investment can be your key to investment portfolio success plus a comfortable retirement. So how does one succeed in this business? Here are some tips.
1. Do your research
“’Supply and demand’ is the major factor that influences the movement of a property’s value,” says Icel Dy, Vice President at property portfolio management company Spectrum Investments. She advises investors to do their research and get as much information as they can about the property they are looking at.
“Are there upcoming infrastructure developments that will make the property more likeable, as well as accessible? Are there surrounding developments like offices, hospitals, and schools that will boost up the housing need?” adds Dy.
But don’t get stuck in study mode. “It’s true, you can’t expect to start investing or flipping houses without a base knowledge, but investing is a relationship game first and foremost,” says Cody Sperber, founder and CEO of CleverInvestor, in Varshneya’s article.
2. Think long-term
Success in real estate investment doesn’t happen overnight. In this business, timing is the name of the game.
“A long-term investing mindset lets you utilize leverage, enjoy rental income, while you sit back and wait for the perfect timing to move for or from an investment, and not be affected by short-term market fluctuations,” says Dy.
3. Identify your purpose
One invests in real property for various reasons — for personal use, long-term capital appreciation, or cash flow. One must first ask why he or she wants to invest in a certain property because knowing one’s goals is crucial in preparation and planning for an investment.
Says Dy, “A clear goal will lead you to a clearer vision on what kind of property investment you need to pursue.”
Bonus Tip: Take out emotions
“There are things that we love, things that make us giddy, excited, nervous, and the like. But real estate investing, same as business, shouldn’t involve feelings,” shares Dy. “Only use your emotions when buying your own home. Use your brain — analyze the ‘supply and demand’ and other significant factors when buying your property investment.”
Overall, Bangkok has a very good property market. Nevertheless, some locations obviously stand head and shoulders above the rest in terms of their attractiveness as real estate investment locations. These areas can give property market investors better value for money. Below is an analysis of the best areas for real estate investment locations in Bangkok.
These areas offer get great value on their properties and are very popular among foreign property investors.
Sukhumvit is a choice real estate investment location because of a number or reasons. For one, traffic in Bangkok is terrible, and you can’t have to have any peace of mind if you intend to constantly commute to work using the city’s roads. Therefore, places that are connected to the BTS Skytrain or the metro attract most people due to easy, fast, and cheap access to the CBD.
Sukhumvit is connected to the Skytrain, which is part of the reason why it is one of the top destinations for people looking to rent or own property in Bangkok, particularly foreigners.
Sukhumvit also features an especially high concentration of condos. Considering that condos are very popular in Thailand among foreigners looking to own or rent residential properties, this means that such investors stand to make substantial gains from their investments.
Sukhumvit also offers easy access to the airport and great international schools, which definitely attract a lot of people to this area of the city.
Central Lumpini is very close to the city, and that makes it very attractive to property investors. Although this Bangkok location has many luxury condominiums, which foreigners can purchase quite easily, it also has office buildings.
The proximity to major points in the city is the location’s major selling point. For instance, Central Lumpini, the biggest urban park in the city, is close by.
Equally significant is the fact that land in this area is very limited, which means that its value can only increase over time.
Sathorn, just like Sukhumvit, is served by Bangkok’s famous train system, the BTS Skytrain. This makes it a prime real estate destination in a city where everybody is trying to avoid the constant traffic jams by all means possible. Additionally, just like Sukhumvit, Sathorn has a high concentration of condos.
Foreigners in Thailand can buy condos quite easily, which makes them very popular.
Add to that the fact that Bangkok is the most popular city for tourists around the world and you will realize that this region of Bangkok has very good prospects for potential real estate investors.
If you are interested in investing in the best real estate properties Bangkok has to offer, your best bet is to look for properties available in Sukhumvit, Central Lumpini, and Sathorn. These areas are all-time property hotspots due to easy access to the city because of the fast and reliable Bangkok train system, or the just the sheer close proximity to the city center.
Furthermore, these areas have high concentrations of condominiums, which are very popular among tourists in the city since they are also the only properties foreigners can own with ease.
BANGKOK • In chic central Bangkok, a foreign buying binge is fuelling a red-hot market for ultra-luxury real estate.
At 98 Wireless, a new luxury condo, a Hong Kong buyer snapped up a US$2.2 million (S$2.9 million) apartment developed by Sansiri. It was an impulse buy, said a Sansiri executive.
For the price of a cramped studio back in Hong Kong, the investor landed himself an opulent two-bedroom place with Ralph Lauren furniture, three bathrooms outfitted with Carrera marble, butler service and a chauffeured Bentley limousine.
Scenes like this have become more common in the Thai capital, where foreign money is pushing up prices at the top of the real estate market – even as developers struggle to sell more pedestrian properties.
With the economy still recovering from a 2014 slowdown, household debt makes it tough for the average Thai to qualify for a home loan, so firms like Sansiri and Country Group Development are selling luxury units to foreigners instead.
Real estate firm Colliers International Group’s general manager for Thailand, Mr Ratchaphum Jongpakdee, said: “Developers are having problems selling to locals. But they have no problem selling to foreigners.”
FOREIGNERS’ BUYING FRENZY
“Developers are having problems selling to locals. But they have no problem selling to foreigners”.
MR RATCHAPHUM JONGPAKDEE, general manager for Thailand at real estate firm Colliers International Group.
Buyers definitely get more bang for their buck in Bangkok than in Hong Kong, in terms of square footage and bathroom fixtures, for example. But what is surprising is that, even though condo prices in the centre of the Thai capital have doubled in the last five years, they are still cheaper than those in cities like Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur or Ho Chi Minh City, said real estate advisers.
The price gap could be set to close, though. Once a niche tourism destination for backpackers, Bangkok in 2016 surpassed London to become the world’s most visited city, hosting 19 million overnight travellers, about two for every resident. The boom has put the city on the map for investors, especially mainland Chinese, who are coming in droves.
Last year, land prices in the city centre jumped a record 30 per cent, with foreign investors making up almost a quarter of the capital’s high-end property sales, said commercial real estate firm CBRE Group.
In the final quarter of last year, prices of luxury condos rose more than 10 per cent, outpacing every other market segment, going by data from Bangkok’s Real Estate Information Centre.
Fuel for the fire has come, ironically, because of China’s attempts to stop the outflow of money from its borders. Caps imposed last year on how much capital people can take out of the country have had the unintended effect of funnelling cash into property markets like Thailand’s, where prices are relatively low.
A scarcity of buildable land in the city centre is a limitation on developers. For investors, though, it is a big reason high-end apartments should continue to appreciate, said Ms Patti Tomaitrichitr, an analyst at Macquarie Securities Thailand in Bangkok. “It’s not easy to find a good plot in a good location right now, so prices will keep going up,” she said.
Sansiri, the developer behind the 25-storey 98 Wireless, began advertising luxury condos to foreign buyers in 2014, when the local economy was in the doldrums. The company now holds marketing events in Hong Kong almost every month; last year, it opened three more offices in mainland China, in addition to the one it had in Beijing.
Chinese buyers helped Sansiri sell half of the 77 apartments at 98 Wireless before construction was finished, said Sansiri chief operating officer Uthai Uthaisangsuk.
At another luxury condo nearby, the Magnolias Ratchadamri Boulevard, some 80 per cent of the units have already been sold, with investors from Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan accounting for more than half, said the developer, Magnolia Quality Development Corp. The 60-storey spire has a Waldorf Astoria hotel on the lower floors.
The numbers are similar at the Four Seasons Private Residences, which is being built on the edge of the Chao Phraya river. Some 70 per cent of the 355 units have already been purchased, with half of the buyers coming from outside Thailand, said chief executive officer Ben Taechaubol at the developer, Country Group.
Thailand has fewer limits on foreign condo ownership than some places in South-east Asia. Although non-citizens are allowed to own no more than 49 per cent of the units in any single project, they can buy condos built on freehold land, where ownership does not have a time limit tied to a lease on the underlying dirt. This is not allowed in Vietnam or Laos.
Another benefit: foreign buyers are not hit with special taxes like they are in Singapore and Hong Kong.
The January sale of Britain’s Bangkok embassy, on a plot of coveted freehold land downtown, was Thailand’s most expensive real estate deal. The buyers, a partnership between local and Hong Kong developers, paid the equivalent of about US$600 million for a plot the size of six football fields.
The plan is to raze the existing colonial-era buildings and put up an office tower with luxury condos or a hotel on top, said Central Group, one of the new owners.
“Every day, developers are literally knocking on the doors of embassies, businesses and home-owners, anyone with land in the central downtown,” said Colliers’ Mr Ratchaphum. “It’s almost impossible to find freehold land in these areas.”