The Far East has long appealed to adventure-seeking Brits heading off on winter sun holidays, but the region is becoming increasingly popular with those looking for a more permanent change of scenery.
With many of the fastest growing cities and emerging investment markets now in Asia, Thailand has crept into our Ten Places to Buy Abroad 2016 by squeezing out the Caribbean. Thailand is popular with Asian and European buyers and it’s not hard to see why — it has the same kind of weather that sees Australia constantly top the tables when it comes to most desired relocation destinations, but the cost of living is much lower. Thailand also has a very favourable retirement visa scheme in place for British expats.
In the “Land of Smiles” it’s perhaps not surprising that it is the tourist hotspots that prove most popular with foreigners buying property, with Pattaya, Hua Hin, Koh Samui and Phuket perennial favourites.
Pattaya, just a couple of hours from Bangkok, offers some of the cheapest properties, with condos on offer for as little as £25,000, whilst in Phuket there is a well-developed luxury sector of the market, and even a “Millionaires Mile” in Kamala Beach on the west coast.
In Thailand foreigners are not allowed to directly own land, so those wishing to buy the villas popular in areas such as Phuket and Hua Hin have to buy the property but then lease the land in 30-year increments – or to buy through a limited company set up with a Thai national.
It’s much easier to buy an apartment (usually referred to as a condominium in Thailand) as foreign buyers can own these, so long as no more than 49 per cent of an individual development is owned by foreign buyers.