Thailand Real Estate: Insights for Japanese Investors by Premier Homes

Clayton Wade, Managing Director of Premier Homes, shares key investment insights for Japanese investors in Thailand's thriving real estate market, spotlighting trends, top projects, and Phuket's resurgence.

Bridges: What are the recent trends you’ve observed in the Thailand real estate market?

Clayton Wade: Unlike many other parts of the world, Thailand has emerged from the global pandemic and threats of war in the West relatively unscathed and is poised to enter the new year 2024 with a very positive outlook.

The return of tourism has been a significant factor in Thailand’s recovery, with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) confident that the country will meet its target of welcoming 25 million visitors in 2023.

This higher-than-expected return of foreign tourists is already having a very positive effect on the Thai real estate sector.

Without a doubt, the robust return of tourism has been the single most important factor in the return to pre-pandemic sales figures for the Thai real estate industry.

The Government Housing Bank’s Real Estate Information Centre (REIC) reported Condominiums worth more than 17 billion baht were purchased by foreigners in Thailand during the first quarter of 2023, which was an impressive 67% increase year on year and the highest increase in five years.

Previously, in 2022, foreign condo sales nationwide made a robust recovery following the pandemic, with 11,561 units sold.

Already, in the first half of 2023, 7,338 units have been sold to foreigners, which is 63% of the number sold in the entire year of 2022.

As for current trends in the Thai real estate market, the hottest price point for condos this year by far was condos costing less than 3 million baht (12,679,395 JP¥), with most being purchased by investors.

During the first three months of 2023, 85% of all condos purchased in Thailand were bought by foreigners in Bangkok and just south on the Eastern Seaboard in the Chonburi/Pattaya area.

With Thailand’s great food, excellent weather, and remarkable value for money, it is undoubtedly one of the world’s best options for Japanese citizens to enjoy a quality lifestyle outside Japan and a great place to invest in property.

Clayton Wade, Managing Director of Premier Homes

If ‘Hot Markets’ are a trend you like to follow, Phuket Thailand is the place for you as all finished condo units and villas with pools have already sold out.

Purchasing off plan from a trusted developer of one of the new projects under construction could reap significant benefits in a market like this one.

According to the Phuket Real Estate Association, most of the condos and villas with pools were sold to foreign nationals as Phuket’s property market has definitely returned to pre-pandemic levels.

For those that prefer purchasing investment properties in areas they also enjoy vacationing in, Phuket and its ‘Golden Year’ of property sales just might be worth considering.

As you can see, Thailand’s top trending investment markets are definitely to be found in Phuket, Bangkok, and Pattaya on Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard.

Are there any upcoming projects or initiatives that you are excited about in the coming year?

There are a number of exciting Thai condominium projects in 2023 that Japanese investors would be wise to consider, but there are two condominium buildings that are highly recommended.

For the Bangkok condo market: Mr. Chanin Vanijwongse, Chief Executive Officer of Habitat Group has teamed up with List Group, a Japanese brokerage, development, and property management firm, and the Thai-based, Japanese property management specialists JRE Development, a subsidiary of JALUX Inc.

Together, the three companies have joined forces for the Habitat Groups two new Bangkok developments Walden Thonglor 8 and Walden Thonglor 13, which have been specifically targeted at the Japanese market.

Chanin Vanijwongse, Chief Executive Officer of Habitat Group, spoke at a recent property launch event saying: “Walden Thonglor 8 and Walden Thonglor 13 offer something new for investors and residents interested in the Thonglor area of Bangkok. Both condominiums are of a specification more normally found at developments with a much higher price tag, and their designs build on the award-winning principles of the Walden brand,”

For value for money, quality of construction, and a dynamic management services team, the Walden Thonglor 8 and Walden Thonglor 13 are highly recommended for Japanese investors interested in the Bangkok market.

The Walden Thonglor 8 overall progress status as of November 2023 is at 58.15% and its structural work is already at 94.30% with systems installation and interior work poised to begin soon.

With their many award-winning developments, Chanin Vanijwongse’s Habitat Group is a development company you can purchase ‘off plan’ securely and with confidence.

Japanese Expats Living in Thailand

Insights that can be helpful, especially to Japanese and foreign investors.

Japan has been Thailand’s number one investor continuously since 1981 with over 6,000 companies throughout the Kingdom, which accounts for 1/3 of all foreign investment in Thailand.

There are 78,431 Japanese expats living in Thailand. Bangkok has approximately 56,200 Japanese residents, making the capital city home to the fourth-largest Japanese population outside of Japan.

With Thailand’s great food, excellent weather, and remarkable value for money, it is undoubtedly one of the world’s best options for Japanese citizens to enjoy a quality lifestyle outside Japan and a great place to invest in property.

With high concentrations of Japanese expats and vacationers in the Bangkok Sukhumvit Road area, particularly in Thong Lo and Phrompong, as well as on the Eastern Seaboard near Pattaya in the city known as Sriracha, Japanese individuals desiring to retire, vacation, or work in these areas will find everything they need in terms of food, services, and shopping.

All these positive aspects of living in Thailand for Japanese citizens are compounded when engaging the Thai real estate market as there are plenty of Japanese and Japanese-speaking professionals to be found in the local real estate industry.

Japanese citizens are very welcome in Thailand and many have purchased serviced apartments in the many condo buildings in these prime areas, which they may use themselves for retirement or as a holiday accommodation that they can lease out short-term the rest of the year while they are away back home in Japan.

With so many Japanese management and executive-level professionals working in Thailand, many Japanese choose to invest in houses and condos in Japanese expat-friendly areas, which they may rent out to other Japanese expats.

Japanese investors will indeed find that Bangkok and Sriracha have very mature and professional avenues for property investment and a track record that is both long and successful.

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