Buying real estate in Thailand?

We've created a guide to help you avoid pitfalls, save time, and make the best long-term investment possible.

The real estate market in Thailand: 2024 forecast

Last updated on 

buying property foreigner Thailand

Everything you need to know before buying real estate is included in our Thailand Property Pack

As we step into the year 2024, the real estate landscape in Thailand continues to evolve, presenting both challenges and opportunities for investors, homeowners, and industry stakeholders.

In this article, we will give you a clear picture of what's happening in Thailand's real estate scene for the year ahead.

If you need a full and more detailed report, with fresh data and actionable advice, please note that you can get our pack of documents related to the real estate market in Thailand. This pack will also give you unlimited access to our team of experts, allowing you to ask them anything related to the housing market in Thailand.

How's the Thai economy doing?

Current state

Thailand's economy and stability have been dynamic, reflecting a blend of challenges and growth opportunities.

Historically, Thailand has been a robust economy in Southeast Asia, known for its vibrant tourism sector and strong agricultural base. However, it has faced political upheavals and natural disasters, which occasionally impact its economic stability.

The real estate market in Thailand has been a significant contributor to the economy. In general, it has seen periods of rapid growth, particularly in tourist hotspots like Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai. This growth is fueled by both domestic demand and international interest.

The housing market specifically caters to a diverse range of buyers, including luxury properties in prime locations and more affordable options in emerging areas.

Government policies have played a pivotal role in shaping Thailand's housing market. Historically, initiatives to stimulate the economy often included measures to boost the real estate sector, such as tax incentives for first-time homebuyers or subsidies for developers. More recently, the government has been focused on addressing issues like housing affordability and sustainable development.

Notable events that have affected the market include the Asian Financial Crisis in the late 1990s, which led to a temporary slump in property prices, and the global financial crisis of 2007-2008, which also impacted the market, albeit to a lesser extent.

Additionally, political unrest at various times has led to fluctuations in investor confidence.

Regarding regulatory changes, Thailand has periodically adjusted its laws related to property ownership, particularly for foreigners. These changes often aim to balance the encouragement of foreign investment with the protection of domestic interests.

For instance, there are restrictions on foreign land ownership, but foreigners can own condominium units outright, provided that foreign ownership in a condominium complex does not exceed a certain percentage.

Thailand is indeed a popular destination for real estate investment, especially among expatriates and international investors looking for vacation homes or rental properties.

The most sought-after areas include Bangkok, for its urban lifestyle and amenities; Pattaya and Phuket for beachfront properties; and Chiang Mai for its cultural appeal and cooler climate. In terms of property types, condominiums, luxury villas, and beachfront properties are particularly popular.

For foreign investors, specific incentives include the potential for high rental yields, especially in tourist areas, and a relatively low cost of living. However, drawbacks include the aforementioned restrictions on land ownership and the need to navigate a legal system that may be unfamiliar.

In comparison to neighboring countries, real estate prices in Thailand can be quite competitive, offering better value for money, especially when compared to Singapore or Hong Kong.

However, they may be higher than in countries like Vietnam or Cambodia.

Outlook and forecast

Thailand's real estate market has some unique factors that distinguish it from others.

One key aspect is the country's strict regulations on foreign land ownership, which require non-Thai citizens to form a majority Thai-owned company to own land, or to lease land long-term.

This makes condominiums a popular choice among foreign investors, as they can own condominium units outright. Thailand's appeal as a tourist destination also influences its real estate market, with properties in tourist areas often seeing higher demand and value.

Forecasting the country’s economy and stability involves considering several factors. Thailand's economy has historically shown resilience, bouncing back from various crises. Its diverse economy, strong agricultural base, and thriving tourism sector contribute to this resilience. However, political instability has been a recurrent issue, potentially impacting economic stability.

Based on these factors, the forecast is cautiously positive. The country's ability to attract foreign investment and tourists, coupled with ongoing infrastructure development, suggests potential for growth, but this is tempered by political uncertainties.

Cities like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket are experiencing fast growth, driven by urbanization, tourism, and investment in infrastructure.

In terms of regional comparison, Thailand's economic growth has been somewhat slower than some of its more rapidly developing neighbors like Vietnam but remains competitive in the Southeast Asian region.

As for government policy changes anticipated in 2024 that could affect the real estate market, it's crucial to monitor any amendments to property ownership laws, especially those affecting foreign investors, and potential tax reforms targeting the real estate sector.

Specific policies might include adjustments to the Foreign Business Act or changes in property taxes, which could either stimulate or dampen the market depending on their nature.

Specific facts suggesting improvements in Thailand include ongoing infrastructure projects like mass transit expansions in Bangkok, which can increase property values in connected areas.

Additionally, government initiatives to promote secondary cities as alternative investment destinations could diversify the real estate market's growth.

However, potential risks include political instability, which can affect investor confidence and economic growth. Natural disasters like floods also pose a risk, particularly in certain regions.

If such risks materialize, they could lead to fluctuations in property demand and prices, especially in the affected areas.

Get to know the market before you buy a property in Thailand

Better information leads to better decisions. Get all the data you need before investing a large amount of money. Download our guide.

real estate market Thailand

What about housing prices in Thailand?

If you want to know the last prices, rents and yields in Thailand, we have prepared everything you need in our property pack for Thailand.

Current state

Over the past few years, the trend in Thailand's real estate prices has been generally upward, although the pace of growth has varied by region and property type.

This upward trend is particularly noticeable in major urban and tourist areas.

Historically, real estate prices in Thailand have shown a resilience to economic crises, often bouncing back relatively quickly. For example, after the Asian Financial Crisis in the late 1990s, there was a significant drop in prices, but the market recovered over the following years.

Similarly, during the global financial crisis of 2007-2008, the Thai real estate market experienced a slowdown but did not crash as severely as in some Western countries. This resilience is partly due to the country's growing middle class, foreign investment, and its appeal as a tourist destination.

Comparing current real estate prices with those from a decade ago, there's a noticeable increase.

In prime areas like central Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai, property values have risen significantly. This increase is driven by factors such as urbanization, infrastructure development, and in some areas, a growing expatriate community.

As for the current trend, real estate prices in many areas are still rising, albeit at a varied pace. The highest growth is often found in Bangkok, particularly in districts well-connected by public transport, and in tourist destinations like Phuket, where demand for luxury properties and beachfront real estate remains strong.

These areas benefit from continuous development and a steady influx of both domestic and international buyers.

Urban and rural real estate prices in Thailand exhibit a significant disparity. Urban areas, especially in and around Bangkok, have much higher property values due to greater demand, more developed infrastructure, and a concentration of economic activities.

In contrast, rural areas tend to have significantly lower property prices, though this can vary depending on proximity to tourist spots or emerging industrial zones.

The trends in Thailand's real estate market are influenced by a combination of factors.

Firstly, urbanization plays a significant role; as more people migrate to cities for employment and lifestyle opportunities, the demand for urban real estate increases, driving up prices.

Secondly, infrastructure development is a key driver. The construction of new roads, mass transit systems, and airports improves accessibility and desirability of certain areas, boosting property values.

Thirdly, foreign investment has a substantial impact, especially in popular tourist destinations and major cities. The influx of international buyers can significantly influence real estate prices.

Finally, the domestic economic growth, particularly the expansion of the middle class, has led to increased demand for residential properties, further pushing up prices. These factors collectively contribute to the evolving landscape of Thailand's real estate market.

Outlook and forecast

In Thailand, several economic and demographic factors are currently influencing real estate prices. One major factor is urban migration.

As more people move to cities for better job opportunities and a higher standard of living, the demand for housing in urban areas increases, driving up prices. Another factor is the growth of the middle class. As the middle class expands, so does their purchasing power, leading to increased demand for better-quality housing, particularly in urban areas.

Foreign investment also plays a significant role. Thailand remains an attractive destination for international investors, especially in the luxury property market and tourist hotspots. Their investment can drive up prices in these areas.

Additionally, the aging population in Thailand is leading to a rise in demand for retirement homes, particularly in regions with a pleasant climate and good healthcare facilities, like Chiang Mai.

Looking at specific factors that could lead to an increase in housing prices in the near future, the ongoing development of infrastructure, such as new mass transit routes in Bangkok, is a key element. This development makes certain areas more accessible, boosting their desirability and property values.

The continued appeal of Thailand as a tourist destination, especially in areas like Phuket and Pattaya, will likely keep demand for vacation homes high, potentially increasing prices. However, these increases may not be uniform across all regions.

Areas with significant infrastructure development or tourist appeal will likely see greater increases compared to more rural or less developed areas.

Conversely, there are factors that could lead to a decrease in housing prices. One such factor is political instability, which can impact investor confidence and economic growth, potentially leading to a decrease in demand and prices.

Natural disasters, such as floods, can also negatively impact property values, particularly in vulnerable regions.

Additionally, global economic trends, like a potential recession, could reduce foreign investment and demand for luxury properties, leading to lower prices.

These decreases, similar to the increases, would not be uniformly distributed across all regions but would be more pronounced in areas directly impacted by these factors.

Get fresh and reliable information about the market in Thailand

Don't base significant investment decisions on outdated data. Get updated and accurate information with our guide.

buying property foreigner Thailand

How's the demand for the real estate market in Thailand?

Current state

The current demand for residential real estate in Thailand is somewhat complex and varies by region and property type. In major cities and tourist destinations, demand remains robust, often driven by middle-class buyers, expatriates, and foreign investors.

In these areas, there tends to be more buyers than sellers, particularly for high-quality properties in prime locations. This demand is particularly strong for condominiums in Bangkok, luxury villas in resort areas like Phuket and Pattaya, and houses in suburban areas offering a blend of comfort and connectivity.

Regarding the supply of new housing, developers have been active in constructing new properties, especially in urban and tourist areas, to meet this demand.

However, in some areas, there is a risk of oversupply, particularly in the condominium market. This oversupply could lead to a stabilization or even a decrease in prices in certain segments. In contrast, in rural areas, the demand and supply dynamics are quite different, with less pressure on housing markets.

Buyers in Thailand are looking for a variety of properties.

Urban professionals often seek modern condominiums with amenities and good transport links in cities. There's also a growing demand for eco-friendly and smart homes, reflecting a global trend towards sustainability.

In tourist areas, both foreign and domestic buyers are interested in vacation homes, which include beachfront properties and luxury villas.

Current interest rates for mortgages in Thailand have a significant impact on the market.

When interest rates are low, it generally boosts the buying power of consumers, making mortgages more affordable and stimulating demand for real estate. However, if interest rates rise, it can dampen this demand by increasing the cost of borrowing.

In terms of government policies and regulations, the Thai government has occasionally implemented measures to stimulate the real estate market. These can include tax incentives for first-time homebuyers, subsidies for certain types of housing, or adjustments to foreign ownership laws. Changes in zoning laws can also impact the market by opening up new areas for development or restricting certain types of building projects.

These policies can significantly influence the real estate market, either by stimulating demand or by shaping where and what type of properties are developed.

Outlook and forecast

Demographic shifts like aging populations and urbanization are significantly influencing Thailand's real estate market.

The aging population is leading to increased demand for retirement and healthcare-related properties, particularly in areas with a pleasant climate and good healthcare facilities, such as Chiang Mai. Developers are responding by constructing more retirement communities and healthcare facilities.

Urbanization is another powerful demographic trend. As more people move to cities in search of employment and lifestyle opportunities, there's an increased demand for urban housing, particularly in Bangkok and other major cities.

This has led to the development of more condominiums and mixed-use projects in urban centers.

Regarding household formation trends, there's a growing trend towards smaller household sizes. This is partly due to demographic changes, such as lower birth rates and more people choosing to marry later in life.

As a result, there's increased demand for smaller residential units, like one-bedroom or studio condominiums, especially among young professionals and the newly married.

Real estate as an investment in Thailand continues to be popular. The market has seen a steady inflow of both domestic and foreign investors. Properties in tourist destinations and major cities are particularly attractive for their rental income potential and capital appreciation.

However, investors need to be aware of the potential for oversupply in some segments, like the condominium market in Bangkok.

Culturally, there's a growing interest in sustainable and eco-friendly living. This is leading to a demand for eco-friendly homes and developments with green spaces and environmentally friendly features. Moreover, the work-from-home trend, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has increased interest in properties that offer suitable spaces for home offices.

The trend of buying properties for investment purposes has been growing.

Many buyers, both local and foreign, are purchasing properties, especially condominiums in urban centers and tourist areas, with the intention of renting them out or holding them for capital appreciation.

Foreign investment plays a crucial role in Thailand's real estate market, especially in the luxury and tourist property segments.

Foreign buyers are attracted by the country's lifestyle, culture, and relatively affordable property prices compared to other countries in the region.

There are restrictions on foreign real estate ownership in Thailand, particularly regarding land ownership. Foreigners generally cannot own land outright but can lease it or own it through a majority Thai-owned company.

However, they can own condominium units outright, provided that foreign ownership within a condominium complex does not exceed a certain percentage.

Finally, niche markets in Thailand, like luxury properties and eco-friendly homes, are experiencing unique trends. The luxury market, particularly in areas like Bangkok, Phuket, and Koh Samui, continues to attract high-end domestic and international buyers.

The eco-friendly segment is also growing, driven by increased environmental awareness and a desire for healthier living spaces.

Get fresh and reliable information about the market in Thailand

Don't base significant investment decisions on outdated data. Get updated and accurate information with our guide.

buying property foreigner Thailand

How's the rental market in Thailand?

Current state

The demand for rental properties in Thailand varies across regions and property types, reflecting diverse tenant preferences and economic conditions.

In urban areas, particularly in Bangkok, there's a high demand for apartments and condominiums. This demand is driven largely by young professionals, expatriates, and students who value convenience and proximity to work, educational institutions, and urban amenities.

These tenants typically seek properties with good transport links, close to business districts, shopping centers, and entertainment venues. Features like modern design, security, and amenities such as swimming pools and gyms are highly sought after in these areas.

In suburban areas, the demand shifts slightly towards larger properties, like single-family homes or townhouses.

These areas attract families and older professionals who are looking for more space, quieter environments, and often, proximity to international schools. Features such as extra bedrooms, outdoor spaces, and community facilities like playgrounds and parks are important to these tenants.

Rural areas have a different rental market dynamic. Demand here is often for more traditional houses and is driven by local residents rather than expatriates or foreign workers. These tenants typically prioritize affordability and proximity to local amenities and workplaces.

The rental properties in rural areas may not have as many modern amenities as those in urban areas, but they offer larger spaces and a more community-oriented lifestyle.

The demographic characteristics of tenants vary widely. In city centers, there's a high concentration of younger tenants, including students and young professionals, often single or without children.

In contrast, suburban areas are more likely to attract families and middle-aged tenants, reflecting the desire for more space and a quieter environment. Employment status also varies, with urban areas having a higher concentration of people employed in the corporate sector or international organizations, while suburban and rural areas might have more diverse employment profiles.

Income levels and economic factors significantly influence the type of properties tenants are renting. Higher-income tenants, often found in major cities and expat-heavy areas, tend to rent more expensive properties with additional amenities.

In contrast, in areas with lower average incomes, tenants are more likely to rent simpler, more affordable properties.

Certain regions in Thailand have high concentrations of specific tenant groups. For example, areas around universities and educational institutions have a high concentration of students. Business districts and areas with a high number of international companies attract young professionals and expatriates.

Popular retirement destinations like Chiang Mai and coastal towns attract a significant number of retirees, both local and foreign.

Outlook and forecast

Demographic shifts, such as urbanization and changes in the age structure, are significantly influencing Thailand's rental market. Urbanization, in particular, has led to increased demand for rental properties in city centers and suburban areas.

This trend is driven by young professionals and students moving to urban areas for education and employment opportunities. As a result, there's a high demand for apartments and condominiums in cities like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Pattaya. These properties are often sought after for their proximity to business districts, educational institutions, and urban amenities.

Changes in the age structure, such as the aging population, are also impacting the rental market. There's a growing demand for properties that cater to retirees, especially in areas known for their pleasant climate and healthcare facilities, like Hua Hin and Chiang Mai.

These tenants often look for single-story homes or apartments with easy access and healthcare services nearby.

Evolving lifestyles and work patterns, particularly the rise of remote work, are influencing future rental preferences.

Tenants increasingly seek properties with dedicated workspaces and high-speed internet connectivity. This trend might lead to a surge in demand for rental properties in suburban and even rural areas, where tenants can find larger spaces at more affordable prices compared to city centers.

Specific cities or regions are experiencing significant demographic changes. For example, Chiang Mai is attracting a growing number of digital nomads and expats, leading to a diversified rental market that caters to both short-term and long-term stays. Similarly, areas around Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) are becoming new hotspots for rental properties due to industrial and economic development in these regions.

Current technological advancements and innovations are also impacting the rental market. The rise of online rental platforms and property management software has made it easier for landlords to manage their properties and for tenants to find and rent homes.

This digital shift is increasing the efficiency and accessibility of the rental market.

Sustainability and green living trends are influencing the rental market as well. There's a growing demand for eco-friendly properties with features like energy-efficient appliances, solar panels, and green spaces. This is particularly evident in the luxury property segment and in areas with a higher concentration of environmentally conscious residents.

The rental market forecast differs across various regions of the country. In major cities and tourist destinations, the rental market is expected to remain strong due to ongoing demand. However, in more rural areas, the market might be more stagnant, with lower rental yields.

The long-term outlook for the rental market in Thailand is generally positive, considering the ongoing urbanization, demographic shifts, and evolving lifestyle preferences.

However, this outlook varies by region, with urban and tourist areas likely to see stronger growth compared to rural areas.

Thinking of buying real estate in Thailand?

Acquiring property in a different country is a complex task. Don't fall into common traps – grab our guide and make better decisions.

buying property foreigner Thailand

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered financial advice. Readers are advised to consult with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions. We do not assume any liability for actions taken based on the information provided.