Are foreigners allowed real estate finance in Thailand? Can foreigners in Thailand borrow money to buy a villa or condo?
Are you looking to buy a villa, condo or different property in Thailand? And are you in need of finance? Then scan this report with all you need to know concerning property finance for foreigners in the Land of Smiles.
Property financing for foreigners in Thailand is possible nowadays. But within the past foreigners typically could not acquire a mortgage from local Thai banks to finance their dream condo or beachfront pool villa since most of the money establishments in Thailand solely provided finance for property purchases to Thai nationals and Thai Corporations.
But things changed in 2005 after I saw Bangkok Bank PLC offerering loans to foreigners in their Singapore branch and once more in 2008 when I witnessed Bangkok Bank finally issued foreign loans via their Thailand primarily based branches virtually like we see it in our home countries.
Within the past mortgage lending by native banks to non-thai-nationals was just about extraordinary in Thailand, but lately I actually have seen a considerable amendment in policies to permit foreigners limited access to financing.
Initially this was launched by the Thai government’s eagerness to increase tourism and to stimulate economic development in Thailand.
When we want to purchase a property in our home country, one of the main things we consider is financing.
Whether or not you have adequate funding and liquidity to purchase, financing is largely seen as a way of smoothing our investments.
For people with less access to funding, financing is a very important vehicle they use to own that home of their dreams.
Thailand do not differ from any other country in this instance since most of the banks (but not all of them) in Thailand give loans for real estate purchases to native Thais and Thai firms primarily based on similar criteria we are used to in our home countries.
But for foreigners the similarities do finish here when buying property in Thailand!
Some Thai banks do offer mortgage services to foreigners but they impose quite strict terms and conditions for the foreigner to qualify.
One overall important condition is that the property has got to be owned in the foreigner’s own name and hence the property should be registered as a condo under the Condominium Act because foreigners are not allowed owning other sorts of properties in Thailand.
Also the buyer must pay minimum 30% down with the remainder 70% financed over 3 to 20 years, depending on the age of the borrower.
You can only borrow money in the bank if you are less than 65 years old – and the mortgage must be paid back in full when you turn 65 years old. So if you are say 55 years old today you can borrow the money for 10 years.
Bangkok Bank PLC was the first financial institution in Singapore to provide this kind of financing services to foreigners. But in 2011 I saw my first real estate client visiting the United Overseas Bank (UOB) in Singapore and they offered my client a loan so he could purchase his dream condo in Phuket.
And hey… the interest rate is not that bad: 5.25% p.a. if the loan is in USD. If in SGD the interest is 7% p.a. (Better check their website.)
It is a relatively new scheme for UOB and now they also offer this sort of finance on the Thai market with several offices located in most provinces.
At the same time also several other Thai financial institutions, including Siam Commercial Bank, Kasikorn Bank and Tisco Bank, have jumped aboard and I also recently found out that you as a foreigner also can borrow money in “The World’s Local Bank” HSBC. This is great news for “farangs” in Thailand, right?
I also note that HSBC offers mortgages on all sort of property in Thailand not restricted only to condominiums, but I guess that is on a case by case basis and whether or not the foreigner is married to a Thai national. In this case I can imagine that the foreigner and his Thai wife will share the loan and the property between them; the Thai wife/husband will own the land and the foreigner will own the property on the land.
I find this solution much better and safer for the foreigner than a 30 year lease agreement on the land because when it expires he will not own the property on the land anymore; this property will then be in the possession of the actual owner of the land.
Also if the Thai wife/husband dies the bank will for sure secure that the foreigner will not lose his house, since the bank want to ensure the foreigner keeps paying the monthly mortgage instalments.
I find it a really good thing that we now see some (hopefully fierce) competition in this area and in the future this will probably improve the Thailand foreigner’s position with several banks making an attempt to outdo the other parties with more competitive rates. I welcome with open arms UOB’s and HSBC’s entrance into this niche market and hopefully this is a start of a new era of financing to foreigners in Thailand.
Lending terms for foreigners in Thailand
The terms regarding loans in Thailand depend on policies of The Bank of Thailand for each fiscal year. The policies might vary from one year to another so better act quick if you won’t miss the boat! The terms also dependent largely on each bank’s own policies that similar to the Bank of Thailand vary year by year.
Banks in Thailand normally give personal loans to people and this includes VISA and Mastercard facilities, business loans, personal loans for education or medical treatment and of course the purchase of a condominium or a Mercedes Benz.
These loan facilities are also, subject to every bank’s own policy, on the market to “farangs” who live and work in Thailand.
To qualify for these personal loans for the purchase of a condo, some conditions must be met, and it’s very important for you to notice that these loans are typically granted on the truthful market value of the condo and this is always based on the bank’s own valuation. And this often surprises the foreigners, because the bank’s valuation is often (not to say always!) lower than the market value!
Let’s see an example here:
– You want to buy as condo priced by the seller at 5 million THB.
– You know you can only borrow max. 70% of the price, so you will have to pay down 1.5 million THB and the bank will lend you 3.5 million THB plus interest.
– But now the bank value the condo at only 3.5 million THB. – So they offer you a loan of 2.45 million THB.
– That leave you with a down payment of 2.55 million THB instead of the 1.5 THB you originally were entitled to pay down.
The second vital criterion is the qualification of the foreigner. These are started below in the subsequent:
– A 1 year work permit or a Thai resident permit.
– A letter of employment attesting your years of work in Thailand and your annual salary.
– Computorized pay slips must usually be provided.
– The bank might request the employer’s company documents.
– The bank usually conducts credit checks on you.
– The your age combined with the loan period should not exceed 65 years. (If say you are 55 years old, your loan period is 10 years.)
– You must have a stable and secure job.
– You should have a monthly income three times above each monthly installment.
You must also supply the following documents to the bank upon application:
– Copies of passport and/or official ID card.
– Marriage certificate (if applicable).
– Confirmation of income and copies of bank statements.
– Copies of land or unit title deeds, sale and purchase contracts.
When applying for a loan I advise you to shop around and not accept the first offer you get, since the interest rates vary from bank to bank…so go for the best offer!
In case you do not qualify for a mortgage right away you could use a lease structure to make your dream property more affordable. So far the lease with option to buy is the best way to go. Just note that any lease for a term of more than 3 years must be registered on the title deed at the land office. Most local Thai lawyers can handle this transaction on your behalf for a small fee. But I suggest that your Thai wife (if you have one) take care of it since it is actually not too complicated.
By leasing to buy there are some benefits:
1. You pay monthly lease of the property for say 1 year, then you purchase the property and the money you spent on the lease can now be deducted the down payment according to the contract you signed with the property owner.
2. This give you 1 year to see if this property and the location is actually right for you. If not, just walk away and lease a new home in another location.
If you cannot get a mortgage to buy your dream property in Thailand, don’t worry. There are other available options for you.
Direct developer financing has become more common in Thailand over the past years.
The developer deals are usually ranging from 2 to 10 years financing and are available to buyers of new Thailand villas and condominiums. These financing deals are ready straight from the developers. This means of course that the structure of each finance deal varies from one developer to the next.
So make sure you check out every option on the market before you engage in something.
Be aware of “too good to be true” offers like “zero interest” or “100% free finance”. Of course the purchase price under these conditions has been inflated to compensate the expense of capital to the developer.
It is always better to negotiate the most favorable purchase price than negotiate the financing deal with no concern on the actual price for the property.
Assure you know exactly what is going on at the property market and do your best to investigate the market prices for this kind of property before engaging yourself in a financing arrangement.
Some property owners are now offering financing to buyers of Thailand villas, bungalows and condominiums as a way to sharpen interest in their Thai property. The buyer and owner/seller then sign both a purchase and a sales agreement and a promissory note.
Assure yourself that the seller is actually also the owner of this property. Ask for a copy of the title deed and check carefully at the land office with the assistance of your Thai wife or partner. The land office can also tell you if this property is actually mortgaged or not.
Most likely if the seller cannot provide you with a genuine title deed, then the property is mortgaged and the land title is kept at the bank or at the money lender as a security for the monthly payments.
In case you are engaging a real estate agent to assist you find your dream villa, then you can let them know you require financing. Most likely they will have a few listings where the sellers are offering payment terms.
If you negotiate directly with the seller, then you simply ask if they are willing to accept payment terms over a fixed period of months and rate of interest. Similar to developer financing, you must negotiate the sales price separate from the terms and conditions of the loan.
It is very important for you to note that the seller will keep the title deed (Chanote) to the property until the final payment is made.
Assure that your attorney reviews the deal and ensures that all documents are up-to-date and properly safeguarded to protect your investment.
Here you find a list of banks where you as a foreigner can get finance when buying a condo in Thailand:
1. Bangkok Bank
2. Kasikorn Bank
3. Siam Commercial bank (SCB)
4. Thai Military Bank (TMB)
5. Tisco Bank
6. HSBC – Both in Thailand and Singapore
7. United Overseas Bank (UOB) – Both in Thailand and Singapore
Best of luck to you finding and purchasing your new dream home in Thailand.