When searching for a place to live or invest in Bangkok, many times a selling point is the proximity to the mass transit hubs such as the subway system known as Mass Rapid Transit, or the sky train known as the BTS. The problem therein lies in one's idea of true convenience.
While some condos can boast they are “within walking distance” and others may provide their own mini shuttle to a nearby station, we must remember this is a subtropical climate with a very long monsoon season.
Walking distance might just be enough to ensure your arrival at the office is drenched in sweat or rain during inclimate weather. So what separates the pack from the elite? A select few condos provide a dedicated covered and often climate controlled pathway linking directly with these mass transit options. Let's explore these select few in the following guide to buying in Bangkok from FazWaz.
Bangkok has for some time now been a major destination and source for real estate investment from buyers who hail from all across the globe. It is easy to see when comparing prices and rental yields in the more developed cities of Southeast Asia such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur. Bangkok has a number of reasons it is more appealing to developers and investors such as an ever improving infrastructure, access to quality medical care, iconic scenery, and accessibility to global transportation to name a few.
One advantage a developing economy has over one that may be well established is, the well established economy, or First World Nation, might have a now crumbling infrastructure, whereas the developing nation with a growing economy has access to the latest and greatest technology to implement in its infrastructure. We see this in the futurist cities of China and Bangkok is equally advancing its infrastructure. Bangkok is constantly growing.
Investment from government organizations, corporations and real estate developers are actively working towards creating significant improvements in roadways, water retention and delivery methods, electrical systems, and public transit all to ensure Bangkok is a modern city that can rival any other. These infrastructure projects also maintain a healthy economy by ensuring a great many job opportunities
Bangkok is also a great source of investment due to its high standard of medical care. Medical tourism alone generates a value added approximately equal to 0.4% of the GDP according to the World Health Organization. “It helps raise income for the medical services sector, the tourist sector and all related businesses, and it provides other intangible benefits. All of these direct and indirect positive effects for the Thai economy are well recognized in the business arena” and continue to promote Thailand as a great place to invest. Aside from lower medical costs with high standards in private health care, once one becomes a resident in Thailand and pays into the social security tax, access to national health is granted in the public sector.
An evening at a high rise rooftop restaurant, gazing at the stars and the riverboats navigating the Phra Choy river dressed in lovely lighting, one can be captivated by the glitz and glam of the city and all its modern trimmings. It’s easy to forget Bangkok is indeed an historic city with ancient architecture with a long history. To see the sunrise over Wat Pho which was established in the 16th century, it’s easy to understand the appeal of this fair city. To revere the old and embrace the new is a rare quality in a modern society, but Bangkok does it with perfection.
Another major factor that makes Bangkok a quality location to invest in is its access to the global stage. With two major airports, the Don Muang and Suvarnabhumi are just outside the city's Central Business District and are connected via the highway system as well as the mass transit giving ease of access to all residents. Western ports such as London Heathrow, Beijing, Sydney, or New York, are all within reach of these world-class international airports. Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur a mere hour away, not to mention ease of access to other cities within Thailand such as Phuket, Chiang Mai, and Udon Thai.
With all these factors combined, it’s easy to see why rental returns are often high in Bangkok. In the more traditional quaint condos, returns average 3% to 4% but with the more modern, spacious and refurbished condos, rental returns over the short term holiday can often rise between 10% to 15% per annum, giving many a great return on their investment. FazWaz is a well established property technologist and real estate agency to help you find exactly the property that will suit your needs in the most modern format available to date. Currently, the top 5 projects to invest in are...
Bangkok is an always expanding city. From year to year the skyline changes with new developments rising high into the sunny skies. That said, some projects stand as colossal failures from yesteryears Asian Financial Crisis and serve to remind investors that risk is always present. One must exercise intelligence and awareness of emerging markets before blindly leaping into a decision. Thankfully, many fail-safes now exist to protect investors from the fluctuations in markets and the lessons learned in the past are working towards a stronger future in the Bangkok real estate markets, particularly in the off-plan sector.
Before deciding to invest in a new project in Thailand, one must examine the real estate objectives and goals you have in mind. Would you prefer to live in the property or would it be purely for investment? Are you interested in an apartment, community type association, or a more private villa? Do you prefer to be in the heart of the city or a suburb by the sea?
Your inquiries can go on and on but with so many options, you can see it is essential to have a solid idea and envision your goals before making a purchase. Furthermore, there are a wide range of development types to invest in, some of which are conceptual, or off-plan projects that are yet to be built or are in the early stages of development.
With that in mind, the decisions to invest in new real estate versus existing property differ and have their own appeal. Essential knowledge of these markets is what we aim to arm you with so you may make the best investment decisions.
So what is the appeal to off-plan projects in Thailand? One major advantage to investing in off-plan real estate is that it is new. A new property investment requires little maintenance and meets the current insulation and sustainability construction standards, ultimately saving in the long run on electrical expenditure and weather damage. This is a considerable savings when you factor in the average temperature in Thailand is 30 degrees Celsius through much of the year and cooling the home will account for the majority of the energy expenditure. Older construction in contrast may have lower standards of insulation, weather stripping, heat dispersion and so on.
The wait for new property from start to finish is also relatively short. From breaking ground to completion, one can expect about 2 years. Additionally, being new, the property will likely be more modern in its design. Furnishing plans will also be equipped with the latest in modern conveniences, which can be quite appealing in a market where many older properties may not have creature comforts such as washing machines, dryers, tubs, water heaters, and even western style toilets much to foreigners dismay as they discover many traditional Thai homes favor of a squatting style toilet.
There are quite a few financial incentives when purchasing off-plan to consider as well. The ability to schedule payments coupled with low tax expectations make off-plan buying quite alluring. In essence, the purchase of the new property only makes you liable for the fees involved in the transfer, equivalent to a mere 1% of the property value and an investor can stagger the payments of the investment over time throughout the various stages of completion. See the stages to secure your off plan here but on average, in Bangkok the range for a foreign investor is between 50K to 100K baht depending on the property to reserve the property and take it off the market. Further installments can be made throughout the construction with the remaining balance due upon completion and delivery of the keys. This protects the buyer from being left fully invested in a property when should an unforeseen circumstance cause a delay in the completion or should some other situation occur to prevent the advancement of the project entirely, the investor will not be at a total loss.
A few things to keep in mind that might be obvious but are often overlooked when considering off-plan investments is that even the best laid plans can change. The property, until completion, is still in draft form. Thus, the developer may present the plan as soon as your deposit is made, but these plans can easily change as the project progresses unlike an already established property. Again, there is an expected wait time for the property to be complete of typically 2 to 3 years so this should be taken into account when planning for the return on investment.
Finally, it can safely be assumed that with property, price per square meter of new developments is more costly than in resale property. With more people moving into the Bangkok Central Business District, and the decrease overall in available plots, the demand often outnumbers the supply so the price will reflect this demand.
Bangkok, like many modern cities, is also seeking to be more environmentally friendly and as a result is implementing more “green spaces” effectively taking plots off the market. Repurposing infrastructure for green ways and parks is great for the urban life, but reduces the amount of available property for purchase overall.
Another factor to expect with new construction is the steady increase in labor and building materials. The meteoric rise in China's development greatly diminished the world supply of sand, an essential component in concrete, so alternative materials and outsourcing of sands from other markets have become a growing trend in construction outside China, but this comes at an added expense to construction costs.
To mitigate these added expenses, developers are designing smaller units that are more luxurious in feel rather than the larger studios that were popular 10 years ago. Optimization of space and ideal layout is all the current rage. In theory, a fully furnished one bedroom with space designed as a kitchen and bathroom complete with a bathtub is more desirable, when compared to its older counterpart from 10 years ago with no kitchen, rock hard bed, and outdoor shower, even though there is greater space in the studio format.
As previously mentioned, unforeseeable circumstances happen. Floods are frequent occurrences in Thailand during the monsoons, tsunamis are a reality in the coastal regions, fires from lightning strikes or defective electrical equipment down to developer delay in the project. With all these factors, it is paramount to choose a developer with a reputable name in the real estate market. We have compiled the top 5 off-plan projects that we anticipate to be quite successful.
Bangkok is always looking to develop the latest and greatest real estate projects, and with a boom in inter-developer competition, recent years have seen unprecedented levels of growth in luxury condominium and apartment projects. Rivalries between developers, makes for an excellent buying opportunity for homeowners and investors as some of the Capital’s biggest residential builders compete with one another for an edge to make their condominium and apartment project stand apart from the pack.
With the rise of these Luxury Wars, comes massive advancements in amenities, which is highly appealing and beneficial to homeowners and investors when searching for a place to live in or invest in amongst the concrete jungle, which the Big Guava can often feel like.
Coming home to a state-of-the-art fitness center, to sweat out the stress of the day while keeping fit and firm, enjoying a relaxing dip in the swimming pool or better yet, Japanese style onsen, or reading a book amongst the nature along the neighborhood green space or rooftop sky garden, can make all the difference to a homeowner or investor when making a decision of which property to own, and developers know it. With that in mind, when a luxury war kicks off between developers, these otherwise pleasant amenities take on new degrees of imagination and elegance. The average swimming pool will become a rooftop infinity pool overlooking the skyline, a fitness center will be reimagined with classes and sauna facilities, coffee shops become full service cafés that provide five-star meals. Here are five exciting projects powered by FazWaz that are available today!
A multitude of market conditions exist in Thailand that will, occasionally, encourage a property sale much lower than the market value, which can encourage a rush on the project and stimulate economic growth to produce a buyers market as many developers will become open to offers.
This will often take place near the start and conclusion of an off-plan project where the larger portions of financing are expected, or when a developer is attempting to encourage a new living community in a previously underperforming area through gentrification. Another instance is to promote sales in the final quarter and move the company into the green after a previously bullish run on development projects.
For example, in the last fiscal quarter of the year, companies are expected to show profits to their shareholders. Many developers will greatly reduce the fees and costs associated with their properties to stimulate sales. In other occasions, developers will over anticipate urbanization in a given year or tourist arrivals and there may then exist a glut in new properties.
Colliers International’s research department suggested when discussing the low prices in Bangkok, "If developers insist on launching new projects in the fourth quarter, they must ensure the products meet real demand," and suggest, to become profitable, “The sales price per square meter should be at least 10% lower than market value." All such conditions create an excellent opportunity for buyers.
Furthermore, when developers take on these economic stimulus tactics, they kick off a price war with competitors driving rates to drop substantially.
Occasionally, the government will encourage property acquisition and assistance to the people through tax incentives. For instance, the Treasure and Land Department will temporarily manipulate the property appraisal of buildings, which are then used to calculate the property tax. Appraisal prices as of new stimulus measures enacted in 2020, are flat rates based on a structures’ width and height alone and will replace the house and land tax as well as the local development tax, which many view to be outdated.
For example, a single detached home or villa could be reduced from 10,000 baht per square meter to 7,500 psm, says director secretary of the ministry of finance, Mr. Amnuay Preemonwong.
In the reformed tax scheme, “buildings used for residences with appraisal prices of up to 50 million baht will be tax-exempt for principal homes, which are homes where owners’ names are listed on the home book, or household registration, while those valued at 50 to 75 million baht will be taxed at 0.03%, 75 to 100 million baht at 0.05% and 100 million baht or above at 0.1%.”
If an owner has more than one home, the subsequent homes will be subject to 0.02% tax for those properties that have an appraisal price of up to 50 million baht according to the Bangkok Post.
Tax rates will be applied the same as for principal homes for appraisal prices above 50 million baht. Calculations by the Fiscal Policy Office suggest the new property tax scheme will drive 40 billion baht a year in added revenue during 2020-21, an increase in 30 billion earned from the traditional house and land tax and local development tax yearly average. FazWaz has taken all such factors into consideration so you don’t have to and compiled the top 5 projects that benefit from both tax incentives and developer stimulus conditions to discover the best properties that are open to offers. Please click here to find an offer today.
You and your family have decided to journey forth to the land of smiles and relocate to the heart of Thailand, it’s capital city of Bangkok and see what adventure awaits. There’s only one problem. One of your most beloved family members is your companimal!
You are a “pet parent” who fully vaccinated and flew your pet all the way from your home nation and simply can not imagine the thought of leaving behind a member of your family who’s been with you for a number of years. Unfortunately, Thailand is notoriously an unfriendly place for pets. One of the first things you may notice upon your arrival, especially in the countryside, is the amount of stray dogs, commonly referred to as Soi Dogs and stray cats. Though this is slowly coming under control thanks to animal welfare organizations such as the Soi Dog Foundation, animals are generally viewed as “outside” dwellers and not commonly permitted in condos or apartments.
That said, there is a growing trend in Thailand for pet companionship within the home and more and more groomers and pet care shops are popping up on every corner. With that is coming an increasing tolerance in the housing community for pet friendly living. To help you in your search for a pet friendly living community, FazWaz has handpicked a collection of stellar pet friendly condos, all conveniently located in the Central Business District of Bangkok and nearby to mass transit stations such as the MRT and BTS. Please click here to see our top pet friendly properties. One important thing to note, as condos are individually owned, an owner may not allow pets in their condo regardless of the condo association accepting pets on the premises but this situation is rare and can be discussed when it comes time for your serious inquiry.
Bangkok real estate market and trends
Bangkok is quite an exciting city. From the world-famous nightlife, to the beautiful historic and modern architecture complete with state of the art mega shopping centres, public parks, mass transit and airport accessibility, the city and surrounding suburbs have a great deal to offer.
Bangkok, being the most primate city worldwide, is currently experiencing a boom in construction that is reshaping the skyline in ways that will rival the skyline in any modern city. As one of the most visited cities in the world, hotel and condo construction is a booming business. Year after year Bangkok is a city favored by international investors in the market for luxury real estate.
Some exciting projects that will change the skyline and provide exciting new experiences to the city are the massive Grand Rama IX super tower, One Bangkok mega centre, and the Bangkok Observation Tower.
The Grand Rama IX is currently under construction and is planned to reach skyward a towering 615 metres in height with 125 floors. Together with planned hotels, office space, shopping centres, and observation deck, The Grand Rama IX is expected to be the tallest tower in Southeast Asia for years to come.
The era of mixed-use developments is here to stay and perhaps no place embraces these mega projects like Bangkok. A luxurious upcoming mega project, known as One Bangkok, will feature luxury hotels and condos, retail spaces, and office towers. Situated across Lumpini Park, the project is described as a city within a city. The scope of the new project can be imagined by comparing it to a regular city's downtown footprint. This is the vastness of Bangkok, that an entire city can exist within the space of an already prominent city.
Every major city has a famous observation tower or lookout point made famous in film. The Eiffel Tower in Paris, the 86th and 102nd floor observation decks of the Empire State Building in New York, and now, the Bangkok Observation Tower is planned to join their ranks. The tower is 459 meters high along the banks of the Chao Phraya River. This tower will provide a complete 360 degree view of the city and is planned to be quite a stunning experience.
Mixed-use projects represent a blend of convenience and efficiency. Rather than setting aside time and effort traveling between retail or recreation, in a mixed-use community, it is as easy as stepping into a lift and going to different levels or strolling across the greenway to enjoy a bit of nature. Walt Disney’s original concept of EPCOT, the Experimental Protocol Community of Tomorrow, is here today and Bangkok has mastered this with it’s ICONSIAM centre. ICONSIAM has some of the preeminent shopping centers, hotels, and residences in the nation and continues to break records in visits.
Aside from commercial real estate, Bangkok has some of the most beautiful temples in the nation. With over 400 within Bangkok alone, a few of the most popular are Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Pho and Wat Arun.
Thaiger recommends you visit Wat Phra Kaew, known in English as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.The temple is located within the compound of the Grand Palace and is one of the most visited temples in the country. Completed in 1784 AD, it is regarded by many as the most sacred Bhddhist temple in Thailand. The temple houses a massive Buddah carved from a solid block of Jade and is revered piece of antiquity to the nation. Each successive King has contributed additions to the temple as a mettit to the nation.
Wat Pho, or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is first on the list of six famous temples in Thailand listed as the highest grade of the first-class royal temples and just south of the Grand Palace. One of the largest and the oldest temples in Bangkok, it houses the 46 meter long Reclining Buddha and hundreds of others. The Reclining Buddha is sacred in Thailand as it is the symbol of happiness and the passing of the Buddah into Nirvana.
The Chao Phraya River, whose tributaries span throughout northern Thailand, join together and channel through Bangkok on its way to the Gulf of Thailand. The river is of great importance to Thailand and its development through history. This reverence is made apparent by its traditional Thai prefix, Mae Nam (แม่น้ำ), meaning “Mother Waters'' signifying its recognition as the the primary river. As such it is adorned with many temples along it’s winding banks. One such temple is Wat Arun. The full name of this temple is quite long, so it is commonly referred to as The Temple of the Dawn. Wat Arun is named after the Indian God of the Dawn, Aruna and this hindu origin is seen in its architecture. It represents the cener of the word in Buddhist cosmology and is thus as signifigand as other holy sites such as Mecca in Islam. The temple is a marvel at sunrise and it truly captures the warm morning light with millions of golden panels designed to capture the glory of the morning light. A Thaiger tip for your viewing pleasure, it is just as lovely at dusk and far less crowded, you’re welcome.
For the Expat looking to make a home in Thailand, a western education may be something of a concern for their family. Bangkok is an ideal place for such an education as many high quality international schools reside in the capitol and in the suburban sprawl.
From early education to secondary, Bangkok has exceptional international schools in every major burrough. From world-class international school Bangkok Prep, who’s early education campus is in the heart of Thong Lor to the secondary campus a little further out in Sukhumvit 77, to Bangkok Patana School, one of the oldest international and most renowned schools in Thailand. Patana School is situated a bit outside the city centre around Soi Lasalle and Sukhumvit 105.
There is plenty of family fun to be had in Bangkok as well. From riverboat dining along the Chao Phraya to Sea Life Bangkok, the largest aquarium in Southeast Asia. Give the family art and culture of Thailand at the Siam History Museum or stay abreast with Western history as many local museums often house western masterpieces from Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet, and contemporary pop culture artists like Andry Worhol.
Take the family shopping in the full spectrum that Thailand, and particularly Bangkok has to offer, Be that a Mega Mall such as ICONSIAM, a world-class marvel of modern retail, with top fashion designers and high-end products, to the equally famous Chatujak Market, Thailand's largest outdoor market beloved by tourists and locals alike for its authentic street foods and Thai products as far as the eye can see.
Top it all off with a stroll in one of the many parks nestled throughout Bangkok as a gentle break from the hustle and bustle of city life. Many of these parks, such as Lumpini, or Queen Sirikit Park, are places of community building and health and fitness hubs. Many come to the parks in the evening to enjoy a stroll or enjoy a jog to release from a hard day's work.
Be it up and coming new development, or the well established infrastructure already in place, Bangkok is the optimal location for you and Thaiger can help you from start to finish, click here for more details.
Frequently asked questions
What do I need to know about Bangkok?
Bangkok is the capital of Thailand and is well on its way to becoming the top tourist destination in Southeast Asia. It is also a primary business hub particularly in real estate investment. With nearly 40 million visitors yearly to the Kingdom of Thailand, a massive 35 million are received through convenient network Bangkok's airports. The two airports connect via mass transit to the Central Business District of downtown Bangkok and can be easily reached by other means of transportation in the area.
Many visitors spend a large portion of their trip to Thailand within Bangkok, exploring the vast array of exciting things to see and experience such as the floating markets, historic temples and monuments, grand shopping centers, and ancient structures and natural wonders. Bangkok proudly upholds its reputation as one of the most diverse and exotic destinations in the world offering a wide range of culture concentrated in the city, that would otherwise require days of travel to experience at the far reaches of the kingdom.
Delicacies of culinary delight ranging from the Isaan regions of North East of Thailand, known for their tangy zest and spice and visually shocking items like roasted crickets and raw meat dishes, to the more familiar Central Thai delicacies such as the famous coconut and curry based dishes. Northern noodle based dishes of Chinese influence, and dry curries and sour fish soups of the Deep South, all can be found through the city. Not to mention world-class areas of cultural influence such as Chinatown, Japanese dominated Thonglor area, and many more areas of cultural influence.
With all of these comforts to enjoy it’s no wonder the area is also home to many expats who live, work and retire in Bangkok opting to join its rough 9 million local residents, making up 13% of the nations' population all living a few kilometers from one another.
What are the best type of properties in Bangkok?
Bangkok has a vast array of property types suited for all the many types of persons in the city. From the short term tourist looking to backpack their way in a budget hostel, business class tourists who opt for a luxury hotel, to long stay foreigners and retired expats.
Huai Khwant and Phra Khanong are known more for their affordable housing outside the city limits with some even along the Choa Phraya River, where traditional Thai style houses are the majority and more recently some modern style housing developed for what some call by the acronym, HENYR’s, meaning higher earners who are not yet rich as they are still living within a reasonable budget despite a new comfortable income as young professionals in the workplace.
As we near the Central Business District of Bangkok, the housing expenses increase as these areas are where most work and are often along the routes of public transit such as the BTS and MRT lines. These areas include, Sukhumvit, Thong Lor, Phong Prom, Ekkamai, etc.
What are the most popular areas in Bangkok?
Bangkok has a vast Metropolitan Area that is quite sprawling and encompasses much of the suburban area outside the main city so when considering where to live in Downtown Bangkok, it’s best to narrow one's search to the Central Business District where the vast majority live and work. These areas include Sukhumvit, Sathorn, Silom.
Sukhumvit is a largely popular area due to its proximity to the commercial business sector and with more and more mixed projects being built by developers, people can easily live and work all within a few blocks if so desired. Other exciting mixed projects such as Emporium, a luxury shopping mall and equally exquisite Terminal 21, both connected to the sky train BTS and or MRT subway public transportation system, make this area an easy choice to live comfortably and work within walking distance meeting all your needs.
Silom and Sathorn are popular with the business class providing easy access to the higher end business and comes complete with luxury hotels, restaurants, shopping centres, and parks.
A little further from the heart of the city is the elaborate Icon Siam mixed development located along the banks of the winding Chao Phraya River. A number of world-famous properties hail from this region such as the Menam Residences, The Four Seasons Residence, and Icon Siam Center itself, all within a 5 km of the CBD.
What is the Bangkok Lifestyle like?
Bangkok truly has a mighty spectrum in its lifestyle. Known through film and folklore for its wild side, bars, nightlife, and red light districts, it is far more than the Sin City it is often thought to be. Museums hosting the great works of antiquity and as well as contemporary artists are regularly on display, ancient architectural marvels such as Wat Arun, Wat Saket, and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and a cityscape that will take your breath away (insert air pollution joke here). Thai food is known worldwide but you will soon see that by and large, only Central Thai food is well known whilst the true delicacies are hidden among the hustle and bustle of the morning and evening commutes from the many street food vendors and regional restaurants throughout the city. No matter your idea of entertainment, Bangkok has exactly what you’re looking for.
Top 5 reasons to invest in Bangkok real estate
Bangkok has a number of reasons to invest in real estate
- Infrastructure - Thailand wisely invests in infrastructure as a means of stimulating its economy through job creation, ensuring a steady push towards modernization and improving its status as an emerging market, and simply to improve quality of life through renowned public transit systems such as the sky train and subway systems.
- Hospitals - Thailand is world-famous for medical tourism for good reason. The healthcare system is world-class and affordable even in the private facilities. Meanwhile, for residents and Thai nationals, the health care standard is raised by a well-developed social healthcare system that anyone who contributes to the social security system has access to. Access to affordable healthcare alone is a huge draw for the Kingdom of Thailand.
- Scenes - Thailand is famous for its lush green covered mountains, beautiful blue seas, pristine islands made famous in James Bond films and The Cove. Bangkok itself has its own unique charm, being both a modern city rife with marvelous skyscrapers and historic temples, to a daily commute or romantic nightly river boat rides down the winding Chao Phrayo.
- Access - Bangkok has two major international airports the Don Muang and Suvarnabumi, both of which service many international hubs and domestic flights making all of the glory of the kingdom accessible. Additionally, the city has a very easy to use mass transit system giving access to many of the business districts and shopping centers throughout the CBS.
- Rental Returns - As a major tourist destination, rental returns are often quite high. Anums of 10% to 15% are not uncommon during peak tourist season and steady revenue streams or 3% to 4% can be seen during the lowest period.