Increasing the foreign quota for Thai condos immaterial

Foreigners may be delaying property purchases because of Thai income tax ambiguities.

CBRE Thailand, the market leader in real estate services, has told the Bangkok Post that increasing the foreign ownership for condos to 75 percent is likely non-consequential right now. This is because very few condo projects have reached the current quota of 49 percent.

Praphinleeya Phuengkhuankhan, head of residential sales, said, “An increase in foreign ownership quotas may not be significant for the market or the economy as demand from foreign buyers for any single project is not that high.” She added that even in resorts such as Phuket or Pattaya, non-Thai buyers prefer villas over condos.

Nationally, the number of condo ownership transfers by foreigners accounted for 13.6 percent last year, up from 10.8 percent in 2022. However, foreigners tended to purchase condo units outside of Greater Bangkok with Chonburi province, including Pattaya, being a front runner.

Foreigners are generally restricted from owning land in Thailand directly. However, they can own specified buildings on the land, such as condominium units, or lease land for various periods which are currently under review by the government.

Some commentators believe that current ambiguities about taxing foreigners on remitted income from 2024, and the possibility of taxing them on worldwide income from 2025, is dampening condo sales by foreign investors.