How to Buy a Condo or Apartment in Thailand
Buying a condominium is one of the easiest and most clear-cut methods of owning real estate as a foreigner in Thailand.
According to 1979 Thai Condominium Act, any type of property in Thailand can be owned up to 49 percent by foreigners, which also goes for condos and apartments, but in this case, the law applies to the unit space and not individual units.
As an example, let’s say there is a condominium project consisting of 100 equally sized units. According to the law, 51 of those units can be owned by Thai citizens and the remaining 49 units can be owned by non-Thai citizens.
The only requirement that foreigners need to meet in order to be granted a foreign freehold land title (or “chanote”) for a condominium unit is that the funds used to purchase the condominium must be transferred into Thailand from abroad, (thus the law is a very good way for Thailand to attract foreign currency to its shores). Upon receipt of overseas remittances, Thai banks will issue a Foreign Exchange Transaction Form (FETF) which needs to be presented at the land office when transferring a unit.
Typically, in any condominium building that is in a destination popular with foreigners, the 49% foreign freehold quota will be filled first.
Foreigners can still purchase a unit on the Thai side of the quota. There are 2 alternatives. The most common option is to set up your own Thai Limited Company to own the land on your behalf. Another option is to enter into a long term leasehold with the Landowner.