Survey finds Thais support stronger buying controls

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There is a growing call for the Thai government to look into tightening foreign ownership of property according to a survey conducted by DDProperty.com, a subsidiary of PropertyGuru Group.

The main concern amongst Thais is the demand for property by foreign buyers hiking up prices, especially for the private apartment and condominium market segment.  Out of 1503 respondents in the survey, more than half expressed dissatisfaction regarding the current Thai property market, with 4 in 5 expecting further price rises in the next 6 months.

Reflecting the negative sentiments on the ground, respondents perceive the government’s efforts in making housing more affordable to be insufficient.  Close to 2 in 3 oppose relaxing the foreign property buying restrictions with those in the 30-39 years of age bracket being the fiercest opponents of any change to the regulations.  In addition, 52% expressed a general disappointment over existing initiatives such as the First Home Buyer Campaign.

“Thai property buyers anticipate property prices to go up, and hence want the government to step in to manage the pace and ensure that property affordability will remain within their reach,” said Raymond Tan, Managing Director of Added Value Singapore.  “The challenge is to find the correct balance which will entice local Thais to invest locally while continuing to attract foreign property investors”.

Survey findings also highlight the trend of more Thais looking overseas for more affordable options.  A third of the respondents said they were considering buying properties elsewhere, with Laos and Australia being two of the more popular locations where interest lies mostly in houses, condominiums and land (particularly in Laos).