Foreigner Guide: Should you buy a house in Bangkok?

With the skyrocketing prices of new condominium projects in Central Bangkok, “Houses and Townhouses” are a property category that have received surprisingly little attention from investors and homebuyers!

Despite the property ownership restrictions on land for foreign buyers, this property type is gradually starting to offer attractively priced deals with enormous investment potential!

In many cases, houses or townhouses are being sold at competitive prices, that make condo projects in the same neighborhood appear overpriced!

 

So what are the pros and cons of buying a house or townhouse in Bangkok?… Should buyers explore this property investment category?

From single detached houses, townhouses, shophouses and even home offices, to keep it simple this article will refer to these property categories as “houses”!

Reasons to NOT BUY a house!

To first tackle the “elephant in the room”, houses have traditionally been out of bounds for foreign buyers due to Thailand’s stringent foreign property ownership laws. By Thai law, foreign nationals cannot own land or landed property; thus, making ownership and control of houses a particularly troublesome asset type.

Please note: While not straightforward, it is possible for Foreigners to buy houses.
For more information please visit “Can foreigners own property in Thailand?

Another major issue is the fact that houses located in Central Bangkok are typically developed by a fragmented mix of developers; from listed developers, small residential builders (Some dissolved and defunct), to self-developed houses. This has resulted in an incredibly diverse and non-standard range of properties. Many of which offer different building standards at varying price ranges.

This variance combined with the restrictive property ownership laws, can make houses a relatively illiquid asset type that is particularly difficult to value, especially compared to its alternative counterpart condos.

Reason to BUY a house!

Despite all these possible issues, houses are starting to offer a unique and largely overlooked investment opportunity:

“Value for money!”

In many cases, houses are offered at deep discounts per square meters, compared to condos in the same location. See an example of a Phrom Phong Townhouse currently on the market below:

 

 

 

Townhouse in Phrom Phong with 408 Sqm of usable space currently on the market at only 27 MTHB!

 

On top of this, houses offer a unique redevelopment opportunity to extend living space upwards or sideways obviously provided this follows Bangkok’s building and planning regulations. Even houses with limited extension options (I.e. Houses located in gated communities, with strict design and building specification requirements) still offer a degree of freedom to homebuyers that can remodel the interiors of their property!

Another major advantage of house ownership specifically for investors and entrepreneurs, is the commercial flexibility of this property category. Unlike condos, that clearly stipulate that units can only be used for residential purposes, houses allow landlords to conduct a range of commercial activities such as:

  • Standard Rentals (Monthly or long-term leases)
  • Hostel & Guesthouse
  • Coffee Shop or Restaurant
  • Subletting (Renting rooms to sharers on a monthly basis)
  • Co-Working Spaces or Home Offices

Obviously, several of these commercial activities require permits, however the opportunity is available for enterprising businesspeople!

Bangkok houses: The unique and niche investment appeal?

With this brief overview of the advantages and disadvantages of house ownership, it is clear that investing in houses is not for everyone!

Condos usually offer a turnkey and low-effort investment option. Since condos can be bought by both Thais and foreigners, generally this property type is more liquid and easier to offload. Also, condos are usually managed by a facilities management team that oversees the maintenance of common areas and security in the residential complex. Thus, making them ideal buy-to-let investment properties.

Houses can offer attractive value for money and a spacious living space that most modern condos would find difficult to match. This makes houses an ideal investment for homeseekers (I.e. Young families), looking for a comfortable living experience.

 

Townhouse in Phra Khanong offering 4 Beds and 300 Sqm of usable space at only 15.2 MTHB

 

Another major draw of houses for investors, is the freedom they provide as a property category. House owners can redevelop and, in many cases, completely rebuild their property to suit their investment objectives or lifestyle.

On a final note businesspeople, can also strategically repurpose a house’s function to host a diverse range of commercial activities, that could produce higher-returns than the standard residential long leases!

 

 

If you are looking for an investment or a home, feel free to visit our collection of new projects and ready to move-in properties. Alternatively you can discuss your buying requirements, with one of our Sales Experts by emailing info@freshbangkok.com.

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Fresh Editorial

The Editorial Team is made up of Property Professionals with years of experience in the Bangkok Property Industry. Articles and reports are drafted using first-hand experience and local expertise!

The Team is always excited to hear from our readers via info@freshbangkok.com

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