Proposal would allow foreigners in Thailand to own 1 rai of land – but there’s a 40 million baht catch

A pool villa in Pattaya. File Photo. fokke baarssen / shutterstock

A proposal being drafted by the Interior Ministry would see foreigners in Thailand allowed to own up to 1 rai of land for residential purposes.

However, foreign buyers would be required to invest 40 million baht in Thailand for a period of three years in order to be eligible for land ownership.

The move was announced by Deputy Interior Minister Nipon Boonyamanee on Monday, who said a proposal will be put before Cabinet for approval.

Mr Nipon explained how the ministry is exploring ways to stimulate real estate sales among foreign business people with high spending power.

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He said the real estate markets in places such Bangkok, Samut Prakan, Chonburi, Phuket and Chiang Mai could benefit from the move.

Mr Nipon said that compared to other countries, the price of real estate in Thailand is not high and that the proposal, if approved, would help to stimulate the economy.

In addition, Mr Nipon said the ministry aims to reduce the transfer and mortgage fees to 0.01 percent for properties which cost more than 3 million baht.

A further study will then be carried out to ascertain whether a reduction on transfer and mortgage fees will be implemented for properties costing between 10 million and 20 million baht.

The news comes after Thailand recently launched a new visa aimed at attracting foreigners with high spending power.

Earlier this month, the Board of Investment of Thailand (BOI) confirmed that applications for its new Long-Term Resident (LTR) visa will open from September 1.

The 10 year visa aims to attract foreigners of “high potential” to live and work in Thailand.

“This new visa program is expected to attract new foreign residents, technologies and talents contributing to domestic spending and investment while supporting economic growth.

“The Thai government has set the target of attracting one million wealthy or talented foreign residents into the country over the next five years”, the website reads.

The 10 year LTR visas will be offered across four categories: Wealthy Global Citizens, Wealthy Pensioners, Work-from-Thailand Professionals, and Highly-Skilled Professionals.

The BOI says the LTR visas will make living in Thailand long term “easier and less bureaucratic”.