The city we return to over and over again
Story curated in collaboration with Kelly Ang
What drives Thailand’s economy forward
- Government spending on infrastructure
The Government plans to open a few large infrastructure projects, namely the southern Purple Line from Tao Poon to Rat Burana which has a contract value of about 130 million Thai Baht. Such large infrastructure project will benefit Thailand both in the short and long term. In the short term, jobs will be created and income will rise. In the long term, the value of properties along the new rail lines will increase, new townships will be formed and with improved infrastructure, Thailand will be a more attractive investment destination.
- Eastern Economic Corridor
This is a plan to develop the eastern provinces of Thailand into a leading ASEAN economic zone. The EEC includes the 3 eastern provinces of Thailand, Chonburi, Rayong and Chachoengsao. The Government hopes to turn these provinces into a hub for technological manufacturing and services with strong connectivity to the rest of ASEAN by land, sea and air. The project is expected to cost in excess of USD40 billion.
- China’s One Belt One Road Initiative
The Singapore Kunming Rail Link is integral to China’s one belt one road initiative. The Chinese are funding a large part of this elaborate and ambitious project to link China to rest of South East Asia. Thailand happens to be right in the middle of both Singapore and Kunming, making it integral to the success of the one belt one road initiative. In July 2017, the Thai cabinet approved the 179 billion baht first phase of a high speed rail (HSR) project that will be funded by Thailand and built by China.
- Relatively low property prices
Prime property in Bangkok is still relatively cheap as compared to many places. Bangkok is a thriving metropolis with good infrastructures like a good rail network and an accommodating government when it comes to foreign investments. Buyers from China, Hong Kong and Singapore find prime properties in Bangkok extremely affordable when compared to properties back home. The cost of purchasing, holding and disposing a Thai property is relative low compared to properties in other regions.
- Strong foreign interest
Foreign buying interest has grown over the past few years. The high end property market in downtown Bangkok is driven by foreign demand. Back in 2016 and 2017, properties in Bangkok attracted very strong buying interest from countries like China, Hong Kong and Japan.
Bangkok, the city of opportunities
Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the far east. The last official census in 2010 recorded a population of over 8.2 million in Bangkok, however, it is estimated that the current resident population to be at 10 million.
According to World Bank's report, Thailand's GDP in 2017 was worth US$ 455 billion, making it the 8th largest economy in Asia. Bangkok being the economic center of Thailand contributes to approximately 30% of the national GDP.
Needless to say, Bangkok is also one of the world's top tourist destination cities. MasterCard ranked Bangkok as the top destination city by international visitor arrivals in its Global Destination Cities Index 2016, ahead of London with more than 21 million overnight visitors. This is why we term Bangkok as "the city we return to over and over again".
The following is an overview of property taxes in Thailand and how they are calculated. We recommend consulting your property lawyers with regards to your property taxes in Thailand to get a clearer and more in-depth understanding.
Transfer fee (paid by buyer)
2% of the registered value of the property
Stamp Duty (paid by seller)
0.5% of registered value. Only payable if exempted from business tax
Withholding tax (paid by seller)
1% of the appraised value or registered sale value of the property (whichever is higher and if the seller is a company). If the seller is an individual, withholding tax is calculated at a progressive rate based on the appraisal value of the property.
Business tax (paid by seller)
3.3% of the appraised value or registered sale value of the property (whichever is higher). This applies to both individuals and companies.
Pruksa Real Estate
Founded by Thongma Vijitpongpun in 1993, Pruksa Real Estate Public Company Limited is among the largest property developers with its headquarter located in Bangkok. Pruksa reported the highest yearly revenue in 2016 with THB 47 billion (around USD 1.5 billion).
Sansiri is one of the most famous and largest property developers in Thailand. The company was the second largest developer in 2016, after Pruksa, with THB 30 billion in annual sales. Not surprisingly, it’s been voted as one of the five most trusted property developers. Founded in 1984 as a small asset management company, Sansiri was later transformed into a real estate development firm.
Ananda Development PLC
Founded in 1999, the Ananda Development Public Limited Company is another prominent property developer in Thailand. However, its headquarters is not located in Bangkok, but in Bang Phli. According to its financial book in 2016, it’s the 10th largest developer with an annual revenue of more than THB 12 billion.
This special feature on Bangkok is brought to you in collaboration with Ms Kelly Ang, a seasoned international real estate specialist.
Kelly is the Principal of RE/MAX Founders, an agency established under the licensed brand of RE/MAX LLC. She has more than 10 years of working experiences in various capacities with investment banking, corporate advisory and multi-national companies involving fund raising, corporate planning and financial management.
Kelly is a firm advocate of accumulation of wealth via real estate to build a sustainable lifestyle. She is currently the active member for the Malaysian Business Angel Network (MBAN), an official trade association and governing body for angel investors and angel clubs in Malaysia. She is also an active member of Qualified Management Individual with an established private equity firm in technology and equity crowd funding.