In a bid to boost the economy, the Thai cabinet this week approved economic stimulus and investment promotion measures to entice high net worth individuals (HNWI) to Thailand.
According to the government’s spokesperson, these measures aim to attract more than 1 million foreign investors and experts; the incentives and benefits provided to HNWI are expected to bring more than 1 trillion Baht within 5-years.
Here is a summary of the benefits under these new measures:
- 10-year long-term resident visa for the applicant and their dependents (Spouse and children).
- A work permit and exemption from the 90-day report.
- Exemption from foreign income tax.
- Thai-Foreign Employee Ratio (4 Thai employees for every 1 foreign employee) will not be required.
However, to benefit from these new measures only 4 categories of individuals will be eligible:
- Wealthy Global Citizens
Individuals with income of at least $80,000 over the past 2-years and with a minimum net worth of $1 Million.
- Wealthy Pensioners
Retiree over the age of 50 with income of at least $40,000 per annum.
- Work-from-Thailand Professionals
Work-from-Thailand employee, employed by a company outside Thailand with income over $80,000 over the past 2-years.
- Highly Skilled Professionals
Professionals in targeted industries (I.e. Tech, Logistics, Digital Systems, etc.) with income over $80,000 over the past 2-years.
Impact and benefits of these measures for Thailand’s real estate
At present foreign buyers are estimated to account for approximately 15-20% of the housing market in Thailand. Earlier in the year, the cabinet signaled possible amendments to foreign real estate ownership laws to help revive the ailing Thai real estate sector.
These changes could include amendments to the 49% foreign quota system in condominium projects and possible changes to freehold land ownership rights for foreign nationals. While these proposals have yet to be officially announced, these amendments would help boost international demand for Thai real estate.
The immediate beneficiaries of these measures will inevitably be the Capital’s leading developers notably Sansiri, Ananda, AP (Thai), Origin Property and Noble Development. These developers have developed strong brand recognition overseas and developed international sales networks to help promote their projects directly to international buyers in their home countries.
The combination of changes to the real estate laws, economic stimulus and investment promotion packages could help boost foreign demand from international buyers notably from China and Hong Kong. This would bring a much needed “breath of fresh air”, for the Thai real estate industry which is hoping for a recovery in Q1/Q2 of 2022.