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Best areas to buy and invest in property in Chiang Mai

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property investment Chiang Mai

Yes, the analysis of Chiang Mai's property market is included in our pack

The question of 'the best neighborhood to buy a property in Chiang Mai' does not have a one-size-fits-all answer.

Some of you are buying to live there, while others want to make the best investment possible. Individual preferences and circumstances matter.

That’s why the article below is covering every intent.

At BambooRoutes, when we write a blog post or when we update our our property pack for Thailand, we want to bring solutions and cover different aims in a clear and organized way.

Enjoy the read, and please remember that we are not financial or investment experts. This article is for informational purposes only.

To improve the readability and user-friendliness of this article, we will categorize neighborhoods in Chiang Mai into various groups, including budget-friendly options, emerging hotspots, and areas with high rental demand, among others. Consequently, some neighborhoods may appear in multiple categories and be mentioned several times throughout the article.

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buying property in Chiang Mai

How is the real estate market in Chiang Mai?

The real estate market in Chiang Mai is an intriguing landscape, characterized by its dynamic nature and appealing to a diverse range of buyers, including a significant number of foreigners.

Let's delve into what makes this city in Northern Thailand a unique and sought-after destination for property investment.

Firstly, Chiang Mai boasts distinctive strengths that set it apart. It's a city where traditional Lanna culture melds seamlessly with modern amenities, offering a lifestyle that's both culturally rich and comfortably contemporary.

The city is renowned for its beautiful temples, like the iconic Doi Suthep, and its bustling night markets, which you won't find in quite the same way anywhere else. These aspects create a living experience that's uniquely appealing, blending tranquility with vibrancy.

The appeal for property buyers in Chiang Mai is multifaceted. There's a mix of retirees, digital nomads, and expatriates drawn to the city's affordable cost of living, high-quality healthcare, and relaxed lifestyle.

The city is also a hub for education and digital businesses, attracting a younger, dynamic crowd.

For foreigners, the allure often lies in the city's cultural richness, temperate climate, and the relatively lower cost of property compared to Bangkok or coastal areas like Phuket.

Speaking of the market's dynamism, one data point that stands out is the consistent year-over-year increase in property transactions. This trend indicates not just a steady interest, but a growing confidence in the city's real estate potential.

A unique aspect of properties in Chiang Mai is their architectural blend of traditional Lanna style with modern features. This integration isn't just aesthetically pleasing; it also offers a living experience deeply rooted in local culture yet comfortable and contemporary, which is quite specific to this region.

Looking towards the future, there are several reasons why properties in Chiang Mai are expected to appreciate in value.

The city is increasingly becoming an alternative to Bangkok for businesses, particularly in the tech and creative industries. This economic shift is likely to bring in a steady influx of professionals seeking housing.

Additionally, the city's ongoing infrastructural developments, like the expansion of the airport and improvement of transportation networks, are making it more accessible and thus more attractive to both domestic and international investors.

Top neighborhoods in Chiang Mai to consider for living

Areas in Chiang Mai that are budget-friendly

If you're looking to buy property in Chiang Mai on a budget, there are a few neighborhoods you might want to consider.

Here is a summary table. Below, we will give more details.

Neighborhood Average Price per Sqm Property Types Residents Pros Cons
Hang Dong Lower than city center Single-family homes, Townhouses Mix of locals and expatriates Quiet, developing area with new amenities Far from city center
San Sai Competitive Detached houses, Villas Retirees, Expatriates Natural surroundings, improving connectivity Rural aspect may not appeal to everyone
Saraphi Reasonable Traditional Thai houses, New constructions Predominantly local Serene lifestyle, potential for future development Limited amenities and facilities

Hang Dong

Hang Dong is known for its affordability because it's a bit outside the main city, leading to lower property prices.

However, the area is developing rapidly, with new amenities and infrastructures like shopping centers and international schools, which could drive property values up in the future. In Hang Dong, you'll mostly find single-family homes and townhouses.

The average price per square meter in Hang Dong is relatively lower than in the city center, making it a great choice for families or those looking for a quieter lifestyle. The community here is a mix of locals and expatriates.

While it offers a peaceful environment, its distance from the city center might be a drawback for those who prefer urban living.

San Sai

San Sai is another affordable option, appreciated for its rural charm mixed with modern conveniences.

It's gaining popularity because of its natural surroundings and the expansion of road networks, improving connectivity to Chiang Mai's city center. This improvement in infrastructure suggests a potential increase in property values.

The area predominantly offers detached houses and villas, with prices per square meter being quite competitive. It's a favorite among retirees and expatriates who prefer a blend of tranquility and accessibility.

However, the area's rural aspect might not appeal to those who prefer a more bustling urban environment.


Saraphi is a great area for those on a budget, primarily because it's still under the radar compared to more central areas.

Its affordability is also due to its more rural setting. However, with Chiang Mai expanding, Saraphi is starting to attract more development, which could lead to an increase in property values.

The properties available in Saraphi are a mix of traditional Thai houses and newer constructions, offering a variety of choices at reasonable prices. The community is predominantly local, giving a genuine Thai living experience.

While Saraphi offers a serene lifestyle, it's important to consider that amenities and facilities are more limited compared to city areas.

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Areas in Chiang Mai that are popular and upscale

When looking to buy property in Chiang Mai, three neighborhoods stand out as upscale and popular choices. These neighborhoods each have their unique character and draw different types of residents.

Neighborhood Average Price/sqm Property Type Resident Demographic Strengths Weaknesses
Nimmanhaemin THB 80,000-100,000 Condos, Townhouses Professionals, Expats Vibrant Nightlife, Amenities Traffic, Noise
Hang Dong THB 70,000-90,000 Gated Communities, Villas Families, Retirees Serene Environment, Spacious Homes Distance from City Center
Chang Khlan THB 85,000 Condos, Boutique Hotels Tourists, Expats, Locals Cultural Offerings, Central Location Crowdedness


Often referred to as "Nimman," this area is a blend of modern and traditional, attracting a young, hip crowd and expatriates.

Properties in Nimmanhaemin are generally expensive due to the high demand and central location. The area boasts a variety of condos and townhouses, with an average price per square meter around THB 80,000-100,000.

Residents in Nimmanhaemin are mostly professionals and expats, drawn by the vibrant nightlife, cafes, and proximity to Chiang Mai University.

The strengths include a robust social scene and accessibility to amenities. However, traffic congestion and noise can be downsides.

Hang Dong

Known for its luxury housing and spacious properties, Hang Dong is a favorite among affluent locals and expats.

Prices in Hang Dong are high, with average costs per square meter around THB 70,000-90,000.

The area is expected to maintain its appeal due to its serene environment and high-quality housing options like gated communities and large villas. The demographic is predominantly families and retirees seeking tranquility.

Strengths include the peaceful setting and spacious homes, but it's further from the city center, which could be a drawback for some.

Chang Khlan

A prime location for those seeking a blend of tradition and luxury.

Property prices in Chang Khlan are on the higher side, with an average of THB 85,000 per square meter. The area is expected to remain popular due to its proximity to the Night Bazaar and the Ping River.

The real estate market in Chang Khlan consists mainly of high-end condos and boutique hotels. Residents are a mix of tourists, expats, and well-to-do locals.

The area's strengths are its cultural offerings and central location, but it can get quite crowded, especially during tourist season.

Make sure you understand the real estate market in Chiang Mai

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real estate market Chiang Mai

Areas in Chiang Mai that emerge as new hotspots

Let's explore these emerging neighborhoods in Chiang Mai that, according to our local partners and our customers, are getting quite a bit of buzz lately.

Neighborhood Average Price/sqm Property Type Resident Demographic Strengths Weaknesses
Santitham THB 50,000-60,000 Various Young Professionals, Students Food and Social Scene Gentrification Issues
Wat Ket THB 55,000-65,000 Various Artists, Young Professionals, Expats Cultural Richness, Riverside Appeal Overcrowding, Loss of Charm
Pa Daet THB 45,000-55,000 Various Young Families, Professionals Affordability, Accessibility Lack of Social Amenities


Once a quiet residential area, Santitham is now becoming a hotspot for young professionals and students.

Initially more subdued, it has seen an influx of trendy cafes and bars, making it increasingly popular. Properties in Santitham are still relatively affordable, averaging around THB 50,000-60,000 per square meter.

The area is likely to continue gaining popularity, especially among the younger crowd seeking a balance between urban life and affordability.

Its strengths are the growing food and social scene, while weaknesses include the potential for gentrification-related issues.

Wat Ket

This neighborhood has evolved from a traditional riverside community to a sought-after location for those appreciating a blend of history and modern living.

With a growing number of boutique hotels and eateries in Wat Ket, it's becoming trendy, yet property prices remain lower than in the central areas, averaging around THB 55,000-65,000 per square meter.

It attracts a mix of artists, young professionals, and expats. The expectation is that it will continue to grow in popularity, given its unique charm and riverside appeal.

Its strengths include its cultural richness and scenic views, while the weaknesses are potential overcrowding and loss of traditional charm.

Pa Daet

Initially an overlooked area, Pa Daet is gaining traction due to its affordable housing and proximity to the airport and major highways.

Prices in Pa Daet are cheaper, around THB 45,000-55,000 per square meter, making it attractive for first-time buyers and investors.

The neighborhood is expected to continue growing, especially with ongoing infrastructure developments. It appeals to a diverse demographic, including young families and professionals.

Its strengths are affordability and accessibility, but a downside could be its relative lack of established social and cultural amenities.

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buying property in Chiang Mai

Top neighborhoods in Chiang Mai to invest in property

Areas in Chiang Mai with a strong rental demand

If you're considering buying real estate in Chiang Mai for renting it out, these neighborhoods with high demand for rentals should be considered.

Neighborhood Tenant Profile Property Type Average Rental Income Rental Yield Tips for Investors Weaknesses
Nimmanhemin Young professionals, expatriates Condos, studio apartments 15,000-20,000 THB/month 5-7% Modern amenities, near co-working spaces High competition, pricey
Old City Tourists, long-term expats Traditional houses, small apartments 12,000-18,000 THB/month 4-6% Lanna-style architecture, near landmarks Aging properties, parking issues
Hang Dong Families, retirees Single-family homes, villas 20,000-35,000 THB/month 6-8% Near international schools, garden spaces Distance from city center


Nimmanhemin is a trendy area popular with young professionals and expatriates, boasting a vibrant nightlife and a plethora of cafes, restaurants, and boutique shops.

Rental demand in Nimmanhemin is strong due to its popularity among digital nomads and foreign workers. Typically, one-bedroom condos or studio apartments in Nimmanhemin are in high demand, fetching rental incomes of around 15,000-20,000 THB per month. The expected rental yield in this area in Nimmanhemin is approximately 5-7%.

Investors should look for properties with modern amenities, proximity to co-working spaces, and good connectivity to other parts of the city.

However, the competition is high, and properties in prime locations can be pricey. Lower vacancy rates are likely with properties that offer unique features or those located near major attractions.

Old City

The Old City area, known for its rich history and culture, attracts a mix of tourists and long-term expats.

Traditional houses and small apartments in Old City are popular, with rental incomes for a well-maintained property averaging between 12,000-18,000 THB per month. The rental yield in Old City is around 4-6%.

Properties with traditional Lanna-style architecture or those close to tourist landmarks tend to have higher demand. Investing in properties that offer a blend of modern comforts while retaining historical charm can be a wise choice.

However, some properties might require significant upkeep due to their age, and parking can be an issue in this densely packed area.

Hang Dong

Hang Dong is gaining popularity among families and retirees, especially those seeking a quieter, more suburban lifestyle.

Demand in Hang Dong is high for single-family homes and spacious villas. Rental incomes for these types of properties can range from 20,000 to 35,000 THB per month, with a rental yield of approximately 6-8%.

Properties near international schools or those with garden spaces are particularly attractive. Investors should consider homes that offer peace and tranquility, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

The main drawback is the distance from the city center, which might not appeal to everyone and could lead to longer vacancy periods for some properties.

Don't lose money on your property in Chiang Mai

100% of people who have lost money in Thailand have spent less than 1 hour researching the market. We have reviewed everything there is to know. Grab our guide now.

invest real estate in Chiang Mai

Areas in Chiang Mai where property prices might increase in the future

In these areas in in Chiang Mai you can still find properties at a reasonable price, with room for appreciation as the neighborhoods develop.

Neighborhood Tenant Profile Property Type Average Price per Night Tips for Investors Weaknesses
Nimmanhemin Tourists, digital nomads Modern condos, boutique apartments 1,000-2,500 THB/night Unique design, smart features High competition, noise levels
Riverside Tourists seeking tranquility Properties with river views 1,500-3,000 THB/night Access to river cruises, lush gardens Seasonal flooding, remote areas
Chang Khlan Short-term tourists Studio apartments, small condos 1,200-2,000 THB/night Near Night Bazaar, city views Crowded, noisy streets


As a hub for tourists and digital nomads, Nimmanhemin's short-term rental market is booming.

Visitors in Nimmanhemin seek modern condos or boutique apartments, with a preference for amenities like Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and proximity to cafes and nightlife. The average price for one night stays in Nimmanhemin ranges from 1,000 to 2,500 THB.

Properties offering unique design elements or smart home features tend to stand out.

However, there's stiff competition from numerous listings, and noise levels can be a downside for some guests.


The Riverside area appeals to tourists seeking scenic views and a tranquil atmosphere.

Demand in Riverside is high for properties with a view of the Ping River, especially those that blend traditional Lanna aesthetics with modern comforts. Nightly rates in Riverside can vary from 1,500 to 3,000 THB.

Properties with easy access to river cruises or those featuring lush gardens are particularly attractive.

However, the area can be prone to seasonal flooding, and some parts are a bit removed from the city's main attractions.

Chang Khlan

Known for its night markets and easy access to shopping centers, Chang Khlan is popular for short-term stays.

Studio apartments and small condos in Chang Khlan are preferred, with nightly rates around 1,200 to 2,000 THB. Properties close to the Night Bazaar or those offering city views tend to have higher occupancy rates.

Investors should focus on locations within walking distance of major shopping and dining areas.

The main challenge in Chang Khlan is the crowded streets and the noise that comes with a bustling commercial area.

Make sure you understand the real estate market in Chiang Mai

Don't rush into buying the wrong property in Thailand. Sit, relax and read our guide to avoid costly mistakes and make the best investment possible.

real estate market Chiang Mai