In the first half of 2023, there was a remarkable surge in international demand for condominiums, offsetting a slowdown in local buyer activity. Foreign buyers, predominantly led by those from China, accounted for a substantial 24.6% of the total transfer value nationwide, marking a notable increase from 20.5% in the previous year.
Vichai Viratkapan, acting director-general of the Real Estate Information Center (REIC), noted that the influx of foreign buyers was a consequence of the complete reopening in the latter part of the prior year. This enabled foreign purchasers, particularly those who had bought pre-sale units, to finalize their unit transfers.
There was also a noticeable rise in the number of foreign buyers acquiring completed units from developers, indicating a growing trend in the market.
This surge in foreign demand has been a continuing trend since the second half of 2021, with the proportion of foreign buyers receiving condo transfers in terms of value rising steadily. For instance, in the first half of 2023, this figure stood at 24.6%, up from 21.5% in the second half of the previous year.
The Thai market, however, experienced sluggish demand from local buyers. To revitalize the real estate sector and the economy, Vichai suggested that the government should consider strategies to attract more foreign buyers, such as potentially increasing foreign ownership quotas in select areas like Pattaya and Phuket.
The first half of 2023 saw a substantial increase in the number of condo transfers to foreign buyers, amounting to 7,338 units valued at 35.2 billion baht, indicating a notable surge of 65.6% and 57.8% in units and value, respectively, compared to the previous year.
Chinese nationals maintained their dominance in condo purchases, followed by Russians and Americans. Notably, Myanmar buyers, who were not among the top 10 before 2022, have risen in rank to eighth place, reflecting their increased interest in the Thai property market.
Chon Buri province surpassed Bangkok for the first time in the number of condo transfers to foreigners, with 43.4% of the total, while Bangkok accounted for 37.7%. Together, these two areas represented 81.1% of all nationwide transfers.
Regarding value, Bangkok led the pack with 20.2 billion baht, followed by Chon Buri with 9.84 billion baht, solidifying its dominance in the market.
The most popular category among foreign buyers remained units priced below 3 million baht, with 44.5% of the total, while units with sizes ranging from 31 to 60 sq m or having 1-2 bedrooms continued to be the preferred choice, making up 53.6% of the market.
Mr Vichai highlighted that while the foreign market showed significant improvement, it has yet to reach pre-pandemic levels.
The editorial team at IBP Real Estate Co., Ltd.