Foreign Investors Attracted to Thailand!
Over recent years we have seen the property markets in both Hong Kong and Singapore attracting large numbers of investors from China. The bubble appeared to be growing uncontrollably in both markets with developers continually building new properties, seemingly unaware that the markets were approaching saturation point.
It would be hard to argue that Hong Kong and Singapore markets weren’t hugely attractive to these Chinese buyers. However, with spiralling prices these investors started to explore new avenues in search of richer, more affordable pickings. Demand for properties in both Hong Kong and Singapore was diminishing although construction seemed relentless. As with many emerging markets, the potential for future gains was rapidly reducing with foreign investors believing that resale values were going down as newer properties became cheaper.
Investors tend to flock to emerging markets although many of these markets have been “emerging” for decades without realising their full potential with Brazil and Mexico being perfect examples of this. What investors look for in emerging countries and emerging markets is ones that have a genuine opportunity to become developed markets in the near future. This is why investors are opening their eyes to new, largely untapped destinations such as Thailand. Thailand is now attracting great swathes on foreign investors thanks to lower land prices and the huge potential of the country.
Thailand and cities such as Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket are offering Chinese and other foreign investors great investment opportunities. Thailand is viewed as a country where western and eastern economies come together with apparent fluidity that opens the door to the country becoming a genuinely developed nation in years to come.
The country seems to welcome the contrast of both capitalism and socialism making the country an almost romantic zone for both forms of economy to meet and for new experiences and transitions to take place. Chinese investors looking to embrace capitalism feel relaxed about investing their capital in a country that would be regarded by most as neutral. The fact that so many beliefs and customs are jointly held by citizens of both countries only reinforces this bond and gives Chinese investors, many of whom have no experience of investing outside of domestic markets, the confidence to invest in properties in Thailand.
Of course, it is not only the Chinese who can see the attraction of investing in Thailand. Another country with a strong connection to Thailand, the United States, has plenty of investors keen to make the most of the potential gains to be made in the Thai property market. US citizens are granted certain legal privileges such as the Amity Agreement as well as being able to own a higher percentage of equity shares and uniquely, can own freehold property in Thailand.
Other nationalities such as Western Europeans and Australians see the country as a great place to retire and enjoy the more of the social aspects that the country has to offer – some opportunities that may not be available to them in their own countries. Perhaps meeting new partners, many look to retire in the country and bring capital with them with the view to investing and creating a comfortable income for their old age.
Eastern Europeans often view Thailand and places such as Pattaya and Phuket as great locations to bring their families. The warm climate, friendly locals as relatively cheap property prices make investing in Thailand a very real prospect. Their new-found wealth is easily invested in the country with excellent returns in investments that would be classed as ‘safe’ to all intents and purposes. Regular flights to U-Tapao just adds to the attraction of Pattaya for instance, making the city even more convenient.
Overall, Thailand has been going from strength to strength for several years. The economy has blossomed, the properties are of a higher quality and the country, in spite of various coups, has remained stable throughout. The capital, Bangkok is fast becoming a real force on the world stage and this looks set to continue with other cities in country also clearly becoming more developed. Understandably, growth has slowed slightly in recent years – it would be unrealistic to expect it to continue at the same rate, however growth continues even at a slower pace and the market could certainly move to become something more than just ‘emerging’.