THAILAND CHINESE PROPERTY SUMMARY REPORT 2019
THAILAND CHINESE PROPERTY SUMMARY REPORT 2019
- Despite a falling rate of growth, in the second quarter of 2019 Chinese buyers nonetheless made 74.2% more enquiries on Thai residential property than one year earlier.
- Thailand is the most popular country in the world for Chinese property buyers — ahead of Japan, Australia and the United States.
- Chinese buyers in Thailand are 21% more likely to be purchasing for investment, 148% more likely to be purchasing a second home, and 189% more likely to be purchasing for retirement.
- The availability of high quality, low priced medical care brings many buyers and in particular retirees to Thailand from China. Medical procedures in Thailand are as much as 40% cheaper than in Australia.
- The top Thai destinations for Chinese property buyers are Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, and Phuket, with the capital of Bangkok taking 41.8% of Chinese buyer activity.
- The top Chinese regions from which Chinese buyers hail are Beijing, Guangdong, and Shanghai. The economy in Guangdong alone is more than twice the size of Thailand’s own economy.
- Education drives many Chinese buyers, with annual school fees at the British International School Shanghai Puxi more than 224% higher than at the British International School Phuket.
BUYER ENQUIRY TRENDS
Chinese demand for Thai residential property has soared since early 2018. However, in the second quarter of 2019, Chinese buyers made 74.2% more enquiries on Thai residential property than one year earlier.
REASONS FOR BUYING
Thailand is currently the most popular country in the world for Chinese property buyers. Juwai.com’s
country ranking, by number of buyer purchasing enquiries made, ranks Thailand ahead of Japan, Australia, Canada, Malaysia, and the United States.
The demand drivers sustaining Chinese interest in Thai property include several factors that would be familiar to real estate professionals in other popular markets for Chinese investment, including the US, the UK, and Malaysia. Chinese buyers are motivated by education, medical care, lifestyle, price, recreational, and investment goals.
In Thailand, however, there are some unique local characteristics to Chinese demand. Compared to their compatriots purchasing in other countries, Chinese buyers in Thailand are (Juwai user data, full year 2018):
• 21% more likely to be purchasing for the goal of investments
• 148% more likely to be purchasing for a second home or holiday home
• 189% more likely to be purchasing for retirement
Chinese buyer demand is directly linked to tourism. Thailand has remained the first or second most popular destination for Chinese tourists over the past two years. After steady recent growth, Chinese tourist visits to Thailand declined by 4.73% in the first half of 2019 compared to the prior year. Bangkok hopes to increase Chinese tourist numbers with favorable visa policies, expedited processing in airports and other policies.
The fact that major cities in China are as close as a two-hour flight is a benefit that helps draw buyers in all categories. Proximity is especially important to Chinese retirees who often travel home to visit family. Families educating their young children in Thailand often split their residency so especially appreciate the ease of travel back to China.
Price is a very important reason for Chinese buyer interest in Thai residential property. Worldwide, the medium property price for Chinese buyer inquiries was US$308,000 (approx. 9.5 million) in 2018. Thailand suits the price conscious Chinese buyers.
Obtaining access to high quality and low-cost medical care is another buyer motivation. While many Chinese visit Thailand as medical tourists for brief stints of care, older Chinese find the easy availability of high-quality and affordable care helps make Thailand a desirable place to reside.
Despite the high standards of local medical care, it is cheap by international standards. The Australian government estimates that medical procedures are as much as 40 per cent cheaper in Thailand than in Australia.
Thailand’s medical tourism industry is a priority for the government and receives support from the Immigration Office, the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the Ministry of Public Health, and the Thai Board of Investment.
The top Thai destinations for Chinese property buyers have changed little over the past few years, with Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, and Phuket. Bangkok accounts for the largest share of Chinese buyer interest, 41.8% in the first half of 2019.
Less well-known destinations such as Koh Samui and Krabi by contrast receive a very small share of Chinese buying interest. In part this reflects that relatively little property development is underway in those locations compared to the country’s largest cities.
To read more about the article 'Know What Chinese Investors Are Looking For With 5 Cities in Thailand Worth Investing In' please click here.
The top source regions for Chinese individuals who buy property in Thailand are predictably among China’s wealthiest.
- Guangdong’s gross regional product of ¥9.7 trillion (US$1.4 trillion) is the largest in China and in itself is more than twice the size Thailand’s economy, whose 2018 GDP was 16.32 trillion baht (US$504.9 billion).
- Beijing is China’s wealthy capital city region.
- Shanghai is home to China’s largest city and commercial powerhouse.
- Zhejiang is one of China’s biggest light industrial centres and home to ecommerce giant Alibaba.
- Shandong has China’s third largest regional economy, estimated at ¥7.6 trillion (US$1.1 trillion) in 2018.
Education is a primary driver for Chinese investment, with Chinese children making up the fastest growing segment of the cross-border student population. Thailand education sector is positioning itself to become the hub in Southeast Asia for quality private education. They can offer lower fees than do similar schools in mainland China yet highly regarded American and European curricula, facilities, and educational staff. Children studying in Thailand also benefit from the high quality of life, lower living costs and better environmental quality than in mainland China.
There are now more than 200 English language international schools in Thailand, ranking the country third in Southeast Asia and ninth in the world. Thailand’s international schools host some 73,000 students, employ more than 8,000 instructors, and generate US$845 million in revenue per year.
The largest centers for international schools are Bangkok and Chiang Mai. More than one thousand Chinese families reside in Chiang Mai alone and have their children in the local schools. Chinese families who choose to educate their children in Thailand tend to cite the fact that international schools put less pressure on their children. International school education is designed to give children a chance to explore their full range of interests, develop more wholesomely, and to become independent thinkers
and problem solvers. This is different than the focus on cramming for high-stakes exams present in some Chinese schools.
While in China, parents are sometimes expected to provide red envelopes of cash to their children’s teachers, this is not the practice in Thailand.
Some Chinese families face obstacles to enrolling their children in local schools of their choice in the cities where they live in mainland China.
If the families do not have Hukou, or residency, their children may be excluded from the school system.
For these reasons, many Chinese parents desire to enroll their children into international schools at home, in mainland China. These schools are expensive and competitive, however. The Thai educational sector is attracting a rapidly growing number of Chinese families frustrated by their experience at home. Even after including the cost of maintaining a second household in Thailand, families pay less for a quality international school education in Thailand than for a comparable education in China.
Juwai.com’s own comparison found the annual school fees for a British International School in China are 224% higher than the fees for a British International School in Thailand. This comparison is even more striking for two reasons. First, the British International School Phuket is a boarding school. The fees therefore include boarding costs, which substantial boost the cost. Second, we compared the fees using the discounted fee that the British International School Shanghai offers to parents who prepay for the year in full.
It is common for Chinese families from China’s large cities who accumulated wealth through appreciation in the Chinese real estate markets to purchase several income-generating properties in Thailand. They then might rent and live in a villa near the school of their choice and use their rental income to fund their living expenses.
To read more about the article 'International School in Bangkok' please click here
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