Longer Leasehold Terms To Encourage Foreign Property Investors

Tourism is one of the main contributors to the economy of Thailand; however, when foreigners want to buy land in the kingdom, they are challenged with strict property ownership caps. Now the Finance Minster is thinking whether it is possible to allow non-Thais to acquire land through generous leasehold terms.

Many foreigners become interested to buy real estate in Thailand after experiencing life in the tropical paradise of Asia. Generally, foreigners are not allowed to own land in Thailand because it is prohibited by the laws. While there are options available for foreigners, the process is somewhat complicated.

Bangkok Post quoted Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong when he said that if leasing laws were amended to support leasehold, foreign buyers will be able to lease real estate in Thailand for long term, like 50 years and then sell the rights afterwards. Current leasehold terms stand at 30 years with option for renewal when the term ends. If the terms are extended, it will provide the tenants a sense of ownership.

Because of the slow-performing economy of Thailand, the government is trying to explore all avenues for growth including allowing leasehold to increase global demand for Thai real estate. If the structure of the property market is changed, foreigners will be encouraged to lease land on a long term basis.

Last year, the GDP of Thailand was estimated at 3.5. The property sector is always the first to show signs when the economy is going to hit a slump. When the economy improves, it is also the property market that shows the first signs of life. This is the reason why the Thai government is keen on the real estate sector.

On the other hand, the finance minister also revealed that there are plans to impose a windfall tax on properties that are close to mass transit lines and other state projects.

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