Plenty of information is needed before you consider Thailand property as an investment. Thailand property law differs from the western world and you might find some surprising factors as you start to research property ownership as an investment.
First, if you are an individual in need of a home you cannot own land as a non-Thai national. Foreigners are able to obtain permission for home or condo ownership, but land is not for sale. When you purchase a home, you have a land lease for up to 30 years. The land lease cannot be any longer than 30 years. Once the land lease is over or if you pass on, no one in your family may inherit the lease. Additionally, if you own a home it might be difficult for you to pass the house on. This is because Thailand property law prohibits the ownership of land and there are no housing title deeds. The only record of housing ownership is the sale agreement and superficies.
The superficies separates the land from the house. Of course, it is not possible to remove the house from the land in Thailand. It means you must sell the house. You can sell it to a third party that enters into a land agreement. You can also sell it to the land owner providing the land owner wants it. You may not find the investment you hope for if you sell the house back. It is one of the reasons that condos can be better. There is never a question of owning land with a condo. Furthermore, the condo sale is very clear and you can sell to anyone without getting permission from an involved party.
There are some issues though. First, any sale to a non-Thai national requires the minister of interior’s permission. So, if you are selling a home or condo to a non-Thai national they will need permission from the local minister of interior office. Second, with condos the building can only be owned by 49% non-Thai nationals. It means if the condo is sold to a non-Thai national the 49% is going to apply. If a condo is up for sale that was owned by a Thai person and they want to sell it to a non-Thai national, then you may have to sell to a Thai person. The hope is that any available condos in the building under the 51% Thai ownership are rented and therefore will not be an issue to your resale.
In terms of purchasing property in Thailand you have quite a few places to choose from. Bangkok has recently seen a decline in Thai purchases due to flooding a couple of years ago. Prices are also higher given it is the capital city. Phuket and Chiang Mai are two very popular locations in recent years. Prices have increased, making it about the same investment as you might find anywhere in the world.
In the northeast you might find prices are still fairly affordable. Yet, you are still going to pay around $60,000 to $150,000 for a home depending on the size.