Thai government urged to simplify foreign condominium ownership rules

foreign condominium ownership rules
Money transfer requirements have hindered foreign condominium ownership in Thailand

The Board of Trade of Thailand has called on the government to simplify foreign condominium ownership rules. In particular, the organization urged for current money transfer requirements to be improved.

Atip Bijanonda, Board of Trade of Thailand Vice Chairman, explained to the Bangkok Post that currently a foreign national is required to transfer money to Thailand from overseas in their own currency. Once that is done, the buyer must then declare or show a foreign exchange transaction certificate to the Lands Department.

Not only is the process complicated, but it puts foreigners who own a business in the Kingdom or are married to a Thai spouse at a disadvantage. This group is still required to produce a foreign exchange transaction certificate which means they have to transfer money out of the country and then back in to purchase a condominium unit.

“Many countries’ governments don’t care about inbound money transfers, but they do care about outbound moves,” Khun Atip told the newspaper. “The Thai government should amend this rule.”

Related: The pros and cons of buying Thailand real estate right now

REIC also calls for changes to foreign condominium ownership rules

Earlier this year, the Real Estate Information Center (REIC) announced that it wanted the government to implement targeted measures to encourage overseas property investment in Thailand. The body noted that while it did not want to see an across-the-board increase of the condominium quota, improving foreign condominium ownership rules would benefit the real estate market as a whole.

“There is no need to increase condo ownership across the whole country. It is better to focus. We recommend individual projects have the right to increase their foreign ownership threshold, but only in certain areas of Bangkok, Chon Buri, Chiang Mai, Samut Prakan and Phuket,” Dr Vichai Viratkapan, REIC Executive Director, explained to the Bangkok Post. “The government’s goal should be to focus foreign buyer transactions in the higher price ranges. That would prevent foreign buyers from competing with domestic buyers.”